Trees are fascinating organisms, helping with combatting climate change and supporting biodiversity. Here are 13 interesting facts about trees that you might not have known.
- Incredibly, the planet has more than 60,000 known species of trees.
- Trees did not exist for the first 90% of the planet’s history. Plants have been estimated to have colonised Earth only 470 million years ago, while the planet is 4.5 billion years old. Earth was home to fungi before trees came along.
- Trees have symbiotic relationships with fungi that live under their roots, much like plants. While fungi are provided with sugars for photosynthesis, the fungi help the trees absorb water and nutrients from the soil.
- A massive oak tree is able to consume around 100 gallons of water daily, while a sequoia can consume up to 500 gallons.
- Scientists have observed that trees are able to flood their leaves with chemicals known as phenolics when the insects attack, and therefore defend themselves. They are also able to signal danger to other trees in the surrounding.
- By evaporating water in their leaves, trees are able to lower the air temperature.
- Roots typically stay in the top 18 inches of the soil. However, some can also grow above the ground. On the other hand, some roots can extend deep into the underground (up to 20 feet).
- It is known that a single tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.
- The saying “knock on wood” is believed to have originated from an ancient superstition, and it is done in order to either get good luck or to avoid disaster. It was once believed that helpful spirits resided in trees and that the spirits would be alerted to your presence by knocking on trees.
- It is common knowledge that tree rings can reveal the age of a tree. However, it is not known well that they also provide information on climate changes, and even when volcanoes have erupted!
- The largest organism on Earth is a tree named Pando, which spans a great 5 miles across a forest!
- Shinrin-yoku, also known as forest bathing, originated in Japan and has been growing in popularity around the planet. It is believed that enjoying the calming atmosphere of the forest has benefits for your mental wellbeing.
- How many of the facts listed above were you familiar with already? Enough to be called a ‘Nemophilist’? Nemophilist is the name given to people who love woodland and trees. Well, if you couldn’t call yourself one before, you can now!
Do you know any fun and interesting facts about trees? Let us know in the comments section below!
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