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"The Orchard in my Village," by Gao Di, age 12, China. From our September/October 1997 issue.

Trees bring so many amazing benefits to our lives. Unfortunately, people often ignore the presence of these tall plants that help us live, learn and so much more.

Here are only some of those amazing benefits of trees:

1. Trees Benefit our Health

You probably already know that trees produce oxygen for us to breathe in the process of photosynthesis (which converts light energy to chemical energy). Without trees or other plants that perform photosynthesis, humans would not be able to survive on this planet. However, trees have much more to offer relating to health. First of all, they can provide shade on a sweltering hot day. Cities that have no shade from trees can have temperatures up to 12 higher than areas with many trees!

Trees can contain oils that are used as medicines. As an example, the oil from a birch tree has “antiseptic properties,” so it can be used to fight infections and other diseases. Furthermore, research shows being around greenery and trees can calm you down and actually decrease your heart rate!

2. Trees Benefit the Environment

In my last blog, I talked about global warming and how it is changing Earth for the worse. But did you know that trees actually reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (a polluting greenhouse gas) in the air? They absorb carbon dioxide in their trunks, and this helps slow global warming.

Trees also are home to and provide food for a number of species. In fact, according to The Royal Parks: “One mature oak can be home to as many as 500 different species.” Plus, trees store pollutants from the soil to make it cleaner and help prevent soil erosion, because their roots hold the soil in place.

3. Trees Benefit Homes and Neighborhoods

Everyone has probably played on a tree in their life at some point—to climb up the strong, steady branches, to race around its enormous trunk, or to just sit under it and enjoy the calmness of the leaves swaying in the wind. Trees play a big part in helping children develop curious minds and just have fun! Plus, trees planted near neighborhoods can help communities grow by creating a setting for activities like bird-watching, hiking, and even planting new trees. At my school, we got to plant 5 new trees on the campus. This provided a fun experience that helped me learn many new things while improving our school grounds!

Another way that trees benefit homes and neighborhoods is that they can diminish city noise from highways or airports near your home almost as well as stone walls. As well as abating unwanted noise, trees also beautify homes and backyards. In fact, having trees on your property can increase its price by 5-15%!


I was really surprised at how trees help us so much in our everyday lifestyle. Unfortunately, the number of trees on Earth is slowly decreasing, and humans are the cause of that. Did you know that around 3.5–7 billion trees are cut down each year? Or that 100 trees are cut down every second in the rainforest? We need to be the ones to stop this horrible reality. After all, trees are one of the reasons we are alive today. Everyone, even kids, can make a difference by taking the initiative to protect them. Start by learning more about how you can help trees—just as they have helped us in countless ways.  

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