The anatomy of trees is quite simple.  A tree is a plant with an extended trunk that supports leaves and branches, and lives more than two years.  Trees have existed for 370 million years and have an estimated population of 3 trillion.  They range in size from less than an inch tall to hundreds of feet high.  With almost 100,000 species of  trees in existence, they’re easily noticeable.  They also have an amazing ability to adapt to a wide array of climates, from tropical to subarctic.  The vast land mass of the Earth has left many species undiscovered, so the best we can do is estimate the biodiversity. The trunk is the thickest part of the tree, which extends above the ground and supports the limbs and branches.  It transports nutrients from the ground upwards, through its wood, also known as xylem; this is vascular tissue and its protected by bark. Most trees have large secondary limbs that exist above the ground, from which other limbs and branches sprout.  Each branch divides into smaller branches, which grow leaves.  Leaves are the primary enabler of photosynthesis, collecting light energy to be used for sustenance.  The smaller branches also contain some form of seeds or spores, which allow the tree to reproduce. Below the ground, you’d see a similar pattern to branches because roots spread the same way.  Roots serve to absorb moisture from the soil and anchor the tree in place so it doesn’t fall.  The larger the tree, the farther the roots tend to extend.

Importance of Trees

Trees serve a number of important purposes, not the least of which is moderating the climate.  Increasing global populations and heavy pollution increase carbon dioxide levels enough to raise Earth’s temperature.  Trees act as a counterbalance by using carbon dioxide during its photosynthetic process to produce oxygen.  Trees also help to reduce erosion and provide a habitat for many small plants and animals. As it relates to humans, trees provide scenic landscape, fresh air, and lumber for building things.  The main problem is an estimated 15 billion trees are cut down each year, while only 5 billion are planted.  The majority of these trees are removed from tropical and subtropical clients, which has a negative effect on plants and animals in those regions.  Additionally, the less trees there are, the higher Earth’s temperature will rise.  As such, it’s imperative to protect our trees and ensure that we make a conscious effort to plant more trees than we cut down.  Consider the fact that trees take years to grow but only hours to cut down.  We must actively seek to conserve the environment while we can. We would like to take a moment to say thank you to our friends and partners at Texas Tree Lawn & Garden who have pledged to support our mission to plant 1 million trees.  We are grateful for their commitment to environmental conservation. If you have any feedback or comments on today’s post, please reach out to us.

Updated  March 26, 2007

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