14 Jul 5 Fun Facts About Trees
We all know that trees play a vital role in the survival of life on this planet. Most humans have either climbed, sat under, planted, been shaded by, cut down, carved initials into, trimmed, raked leaves from or even may have crashed a car or bike into a tree.
In addition to producing oxygen, absorbing carbon dioxide and reducing erosion, trees actually transcend nature and and branch out into other areas of our lives — giving us many other reasons to hug a tree.
Here are five tree-mendous facts about trees that you probably didn’t know:
1. Knock on Wood
When we say how lucky we are that we haven’t had a car accident or that it isn’t scheduled to rain on our wedding, we knock on wood to protect ourselves from those events happening because we said it out loud. We all know it’s ridiculous, but there is no harm in rapping our knuckles — just in case. There are many theories on where this tradition comes from. One in particular suggests that it comes from ancient pagan religions such as the Celts who believed that spirits and gods lived within trees. Knocking on trees would rouse these beings for protection or to thank them for a recent stroke of good luck. So the next time you notice a run of good luck, go ahead and knock on the nearest tree — because you never know.
2. Trees are Thirsty … Really Thirsty
Studies suggest that humans need to consume about half a gallon of water a day to stay healthy, and even more exercise or warmer weather. In comparison, a mature oak tree will take in two-hundred times that in the same 24 hour period. So where does all that water go? Beginning in the roots, the water is transported up through the trunk — bringing with it nutrients the tree needs before reaching the leaves. Once there, ninety percent of it is released into the air during photosynthesis.
3. Trees Talk
Althougho no spoken language exists in the forest, but recent studies note that trees communicate and even share resources. One experiment involving casting shade on a Birch and Douglas Fir was performed by Suzanne Simard. Her results indicated that during summer the ir was shaded and would receive excess carbon from the Birch. In fall the reverse was true, and the same root network that had helped the Fir now benefited the Birch. It leads a person to wonder if trees are somehow aware of human presence and what they might think of us?
4. Trees Save Money
Most of the time we consider trees and their maintenance a drain on resources. The truth is, however, that strategically planted trees and shrubs help to save money on energy bills. During the summer trees can help keep buildings cooler, thus reducing the need for air conditioning. In the winter they act as windbreaks to decrease heat loss.
5. Some Trees Have A Gender
Well this isn’t entirely true. It isn’t the tree that has a gender, but the cones that grow on pines can be either male or female. The larger pine cones are females producing eggs and living up to three years longer than the smaller male cones which produce pollen. Tough break for the guys.
These are just a few of the fun facts about trees you probably didn’t know. So the next time you knock on a tree for good luck or step barefooted on a pinecone, stop to consider the wonders that surround us every day. Well consider it after you have finished hopping on one foot and cursing silently.
For more information about trees from the experts at M&A All Seasons Tree Service, please contact us here or call us at directly at 616.604.0501.