The more you know: Fun tree facts to share on Arbor Day

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Updated Apr 26, 2019
Photo: Beth HyattPhoto: Beth Hyatt

With Arbor Day in full swing, it’s time to start spreading the tree love to your clients, and a good way to start is by discussing a few interesting facts they might not know about trees.

For starters, the important role trees play in the environment can sometimes be underrated, and according to the Mother Nature Network, there are about 3 trillion trees currently in existence.

Despite the plethora of benefits trees give us on a daily basis, we still tend to take these gentle giants for granted. Having trees around can bring a sense of calm and happiness, and they have also been proven to raise the appraisal of property value.

While you’re chit-chatting about trees this Arbor Day, take a second to spread a few interesting facts that customers might not know about these jolly greens.

For instance, did you know that Earth has more than 60,000 known tree species, according to the Journal of Sustainable Forestry and GlobalTreeSearch? And of these known species, more than half exist only in a single country. Indonesia, Brazil and Columbia also have the highest totals for endemic tree species, according to the Mother Nature Network.

According to Precision PLT, trees also drink about 2,000 liters of water each year, and if planted strategically, shrubs and trees can save up to 25 percent on an energy bill. Along with serving as a shade provider, trees can also be windbreakers in the winter.

Precision PLT also notes that conifers are the only type of tree that spreads its seeds in cones, which also have genders. Pine trees grow on six of the seven continents, with Antarctica being the only one not on the list.

Did you also know that the old tradition of, “knocking on wood,” came from a time when primitive pagans used to knock or tap on trees to summon protective spirits that were said to reside inside?

Accompanying the long list of aesthetically pleasing benefits trees offer, they also help the environment by absorbing as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide each year, and they can sequester one ton of carbon dioxide by the time a tree reaches 40 years old, according to Precision PLT. Trees can also lower the temperature of the air by evaporating water in their leaves.

According to SavATree, one tree can produce 260 pounds of oxygen per year, which means that two mature trees are able to supply enough oxygen per year to support a family of four.

Trees are also able to improve the quality of water by slowly filtering rainwater, which ultimately protects watersheds and aquifers.

Precision PLT also notes that different parts of the tree will grow at different times throughout the year, and typically most of the foliage growth happens in the spring. This is followed by trunk growth in the summer and root growth in the fall and winter. And contrary to popular belief, Precision PLT debunks the myth that when a birdhouse is hung on a tree branch, the birdhouse will move up the tree as it grows.

According to the Mother Nature Network, trees in a forest can actually “talk” to one another and share nutrients through the symbiotic relationship they have with mycorrhizal fungi that live on their roots. These fungi can help the trees absorb water and nutrients from the soil, and the trees also share their photosynthesis sugars with the fungi as payment.

The fungi also link each tree and act as a communication and resource sharing platform for the trees.

No matter what type of tree or how many your customers have in their landscape, be sure to take time to remind them of all the good trees do in the world in honor of Arbor Day. Take a walk outside, snap a picture of your favorite tree or just give the suckers a big ol’ hug to really get into the Arbor Day spirit!

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