Trees are the lungs of the Earth
Trees are intimately connected to life on Earth. Trees exhale oxygen and inhale carbon dioxide, while humans exhale carbon dioxide and inhale oxygen. But the connection doesn’t end there. A single tree filters 10 lbs of air pollution and greenhouse gases out of the air every year. It produces 260 lbs of fresh oxygen – enough for 2 people to breath – in the same amount of time. Trees provide shelter for wildlife, and shade to moderate the temperature – keeping it warmer in winter and cooler in summer. This helps people spend less energy keeping warm or cooling off. That means instead of building more power plants to provide more electricity we can plant more trees.
And while individual trees have some benefits, a forest of trees increases the benefits exponentially. Forests not only filter out air pollution and increase oxygen, trees are part of the water cycle, drawing up moisture from deep in the earth and evaporating it from the leaves. Trees provide 2/3rds of the clean water needed in the USA. Clearly we need forests and trees to thrive.
Trees provide breeding grounds for song birds. In fact birds are very particular about their nesting spots, preferring certain species of trees for their nests and food sources. Without those trees, these species of birds can be endangered. Birds, like the Kirtland’s warbler that nests exclusively in young jack pine forests, need specific species of trees to thrive. Efforts by conservation societies like Arbor Day Foundation can positively impact the survival rate of these endangered song birds.
Have you heard about ‘Forest Bathing‘? I learned about it in my HANES Intermediate Herbal Course in Unit 8 — Lungs. Studies were done in Japan on the benefits of spending 30 minutes a day walking in the forest. Spending time in the woods increases T-cells, strengthens immunity, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, reduces the need for drugs, and increases the ability to concentrate.
Research done in Japan in 2004 conclusively showed that walking in a forest or other natural environment increases immune cells, helping to fight cancer and improving immunity. The same study also found that walking in a forest reduces cortisol, marking a reduction in stress. From this study, the term “forest bathing” was coined to describe immersing oneself in a natural environment for its therapeutic benefits.
In other studies, being immersed in nature has been found to reverse ADHD in children. Being outside in nature for thirty minutes a day is equally effective as taking medication. — Intermediate Herbal Course, unit 8.
Oh Tannenbaum, Oh Tannenbaum, how lovely are your branches
This time of year many people bring trees indoors, decorate them with tinsel, and light them up. The custom of cutting down a pine tree and bringing it inside to decorate dates back to Ancient Sumer. I was really shocked to find it mentioned in the Bible in Jeremiah, “for the customs of the peoples are nothing. they cut down a tree in the forest; a craftsman works it with his axe; they deck it with silver and gold. They fix it with hammer and nails, so that it won’t move.”(Jer. 10:3,4 CJB) Doesn’t that sound like a Christmas tree, decorated with silver and gold, and fastened so it won’t fall?
Whether you put up a tree or not, you can participate in the Share a Tree program. The Share A Tree program allows you to decorate as many virtual trees as you like and share your decorated trees online in your favorite social media sites.
What’s Share A Tree?
Share a Tree is a joint program with Green is Universal and the Arbor Day Foundation. When you decorate a tree and share it in social media, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a real tree in the national forest, a state forest, or a state park. And for every 25,000 trees that are shared, Green is Universal will donate $5,000.
The Annual Share a Tree program
Green is Universal and the Arbor Day Foundation have teamed up once again for their annual Share a Tree campaign. This year, for every digital tree shared before the end of December, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree and for every 25,000 shared, Green is Universal will donate $5,000. They’ve created a virtual forest and people can visit the site, decorate a tree and easily share it on social media. Included in the forest are about 40 trees that were drawn by celebrities like Al Roker, Dolvett Quince and Meredith Vieira and if people don’t feel like decorating their own tree, they can share a “Celebratree” instead.
Watch the #ShareATree hashtag, too, because if you RT or share someone else’s tree, that counts, too!!
Click here to decorate and Share a Tree!
The Share a Tree Program will help the Arbor Day Foundation plant trees all across the United States in our national forests, state forests, and state parks. Two places in which trees will be planted is in Michigan’s Mackinaw and Ausable State Forests.
Help the Kirtland warbler
Jack pine trees will be planted to improve the habitat of the endangered Kirtland’s warbler. This neo-tropical migratory songbird’s breeding habitat is almost exclusively confined to young, dense Jack pine stands in the area. Today, Kirtland’s warblers are found in only ten counties on Michigan’s northern lower peninsula and four counties in the upper peninsula. Efforts by the Arbor Day Foundation’s replanting partners have increased the number of singing males from less than 200 to more than 1,900, bringing the species back from the brink of extinction.
Visit ShareATree, decorate a digital tree & a real one will be planted! #ShareATree
Disclaimer: I will receive a gift from Green Is Universal and the Arbor Day Foundation for writing this post. All pictures were provided by Green Is Universal and the Arbor Day Foundation.