TOCK and Mr Tahana visited the local park to learn about the importance of trees and why they are so very precious.
Facts about Trees
There are at least 60,000 different types of trees in the world.
Trees are found on every continent in the world except Antarctica.
Trees are tall plants with a trunk and branches made of wood.
80% (8 out of 10) of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests.
Some trees can live for thousands of years and can grow very tall. Trees like the Giant Sequoia can grow as tall as 100 metres high.
What do Trees provide?
HOMES – Trees make great homes for lots of animals and insects:
- Over 500 different types of creature could live on 1 tree alone – monkeys, squirrels, birds, sloths, koala bears, lizards are just a few animals that make trees their home.
- A tree trunk could be home to millions of insects.
- When the leaves, nuts and branches fall off the trees they provide food and homes for lots of other creatures that live near the trees – like snails and beetles….
OXYGEN – Trees help produce the gas oxygen and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air:
- We use oxygen to breath.
- Too much carbon dioxide in the air can make the Earth hot so trees help to keep the Earth temperature just right.
FOOD – Trees provide food for people and lots of other animals:
- Fruits – apples, oranges, plums, peaches, pears, cherries…… (Can you think of any more?)
- Nuts – hazelnuts, almonds, chestnuts, walnuts….
- Cinnamon- comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree
- Cocoa – which is what chocolate is made from!
KEEP US COOL – Because they are so big and produce a lot of leaves (a big tree may have 200,000 leaves) trees are awesome at keeping an area shaded and cool.
HELP THE SOIL – The roots of the trees, which usually grow underground, help keep the soil together so it does not blow or wash away.
HELP REDUCE POLLUTION – from the air and water through their leaves and roots.
OTHER THINGS TREES PROVIDE:
- Paper is made using wood from trees
- Wood – to make furniture, homes
- Rubber – to make rubber balloons and rubber gloves
- Cork – to use as tops on some bottles
- Some medicines
- Syrups – maple syrup is made from the sap of the Maple tree…
MAKE AN AREA LOOK NICE
- Make people feel happy
- Forests and woods are interesting places to visit and explore
TOCK believes trees are very precious and it made him feel unhappy to learn that in many places in the world people are cutting down too many trees.
We all know how big a football field is, well according to the World Wildlife Fund we are losing 27 football pitches worth of forest every minute of every day.
Why are the forests disappearing?
- Deforestation -Deforestation is when trees are cut down or destroyed and no more of these type of trees are planted to replace them. Often forests are cut down to make paper, furniture, to grow palm oil plantations or so the land can be used for farming.
- Forest Fires
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:
- Don’t waste paper – use both sides and put used paper in the recycle bin so it can be used to make recycled paper.
- As a family when shopping for things made from wood and paper like toilet paper, books, furniture look for the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) label on packaging. This means that the trees used are grown in sustainable forests (where new trees are planted to replace the ones that are cut down – so the forests do not disappear).
- Only buy sustainable palm oil products – Only buy food and other things like toothpaste that says on the label that it is made from sustainable palm oil. The great news is that people can produce palm oil sustainably – protecting species like the orangutan. Instead of cutting down forests they can plant palm trees – which produce the palm oil – on land that does not already have trees on it.
- Make/put a ‘No junk mail’ sign on your letterbox.
- Use a washable handkerchief.
- Get your family to use a whiteboard at home to write messages instead of paper.
TOCK has a fun activity for nature lovers.