Trees and hedges are very important to the balance of the ecosystem. A single 100-foot tree can absorb about 50 lbs of carbon dioxide in a year. The same tree will produce approximately 6000 pounds of oxygen in a year, which is enough to support at least two people.
Trees are also very good for wild life. The popular English Oak can support about 284 species of insects. These insects in turn provides food for numerous birds. The acorns of oak trees are food for a variety of animals which includes pigeons, mice, deer, pigs, although they can be poisonous to others, including humans and horses.
Interesting facts about trees don't end here, sometimes they are specific to a particular community, region or country. Here are some points you might find intriguing:
1. In Athens, Georgia, there is a tree that is owned by itself. It pays no property taxes and the ownership rights have never been questioned. The tree was initially owned by Professor William Jackson, who campaigned and secured self-ownership rights for the tree. The Athens community recognizes the rights of this tree and have taken measures to protect it. In 1942, the tree was blown down by wind and another tree was regrown from the parts of the original tree. The ownership rights of the tree still exist today.
2. The Venice Islands in Italy were built on a foundation of tree trunks about 1200 years ago. Up till today, these tree trunks still support almost all of central Venice. They remain submerged in water, so they will be there for thousands of years. They are not exposed to oxygen hence they do not rot.
3. California is home to several record breaking trees including the tallest tree in the world which is a giant redwood located somewhere in Redwood National Park. The exact location of this tree is kept secret due to the concern of vandalism from a surge of tourists.
4. The widest tree in the world is located in Oaxaca, Mexico. It is named Arbol del tule and is 38.1 feet in diameter.
5. Jadav Molai Payeng, a 47 years old Indian man, began planting trees at the age of 16 on a very barren piece of land with no shrubs, hedges or vegetation. Today, his trees have become a 1360-acre jungle that is now inhabited by tigers, lions and other wild animals. What a wonderful legacy.
6. There are Eucalyptus trees with natural rainbow colours. They are usually referred to as the Rainbow Eucalyptus. The multi-colour characteristic of the tree trunks occur as a result of patches of the outer bark that are shed at different times of the year. These trees grow naturally in the Northern Hemisphere and can be found in New Britain, New Guinea, Sulawesi and Mindanao.
7. Justin Timberlake, American musician and celebrity, once commissioned a company to figure out his concert's carbon footprints and paid to have trees and hedges planted in the cities he toured to offset the carbon impact of his tour.
8. In America, tree growth has exceeded harvest by over 50% since 1940. Now there are more trees than any time in the last 100 years.
9. Only 1% of a mature tree is biologically alive, the rest is made up of non-living structural wood cells. The living portions of a tree are the leaves, buds, roots and the cambium, a thin film of cells under the bark.
10. Columbia University has developed an artificial tree that passively absorbs carbon(iv) oxide from the air using artificial leaves that are 1000 times more efficient that natural leaves.
11. There is an entire forest in Utah that is made up of one single species of trees. All the trees are virtually the same height and of the same colour.
12. In the year 1976, North Korean Soldiers murdered two American Soldiers who were trying to cut down an overgrown tree in the demilitarized zone between South and North Korea. America responded with a 813-man task force, jet bombers capable of deploying nuclear weapons and 27 helicopters and cut down the poplar tree in a show of force to intimidate the North Koreans and make them back down.
13. Every citizen of China from the age of 11 years is encouraged to plant at least three trees per year.
14. In the year 2012, Sarah Barnes a meth addict climbed into the trunk of the fifth oldest tree in the world in Florida to smoke meth. An accident occurred when she wanted to light a fire to inhale the drug. The tree named "The Senator" caught fire and burnt to the ground.
15. According to scientific discovery, older trees share nutrients with smaller trees. This symbiotic web of connection helps the ecosystem to develop and flourish.
16. 96% of ancient redwoods, some of the tallest and oldest trees on earth have been cut down and destroyed.
17. There is a hotel in Sweden called the Treehouse. This hotel is situated in the midst of unspoiled nature. All the rooms in this hotel are up on trees. The experience in this hotel is awesome as visitors are given the chance to experience nature among tree-tops.
18. The sandbox tree is one of the most dangerous trees in the world. Not only is it covered in poisonous spikes, it also has fruits that can explode and propel seeds at 160 mph.
19. Trees receive 90% of their nutrients from the atmosphere above it while only 10% come from the soil.
20. No tree dies of old age. They are usually killed by animals, insects and disease. That’s why timely tree surgery can help trees by removing diseased and infected limbs to give the rest of the plant a chance to thrive.
21. There are about 20,000 tree species in the world. India has the highest number of tree species while America has the second highest number of diverse tree species.
22. Trees are part of the ecosystem factors that induce rainfall by cooling the land and transpiring water from their leaves into the atmosphere. An acre of maple trees can put as much as 20,000 gallons of water into the air on a daily basis.
23. In California, a tree still stands till today bearing the legible inscription carved into it in 1849 by a group of people exploring California. The inscription reads "49 Road"
24. Aspirin was originally made from the bark of a tree known as 'Willow Bark"
25. Julia Hill a tree protection activist fought for the preservation of the trees in California by having a tree sit for 738 days.
26. Trees planted near buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30%