Have you ever wondered, “what if trees could talk?” In a way, they do! But they actually do a lot more than just throw some shade. 😎
It’s fairly common knowledge that trees produce oxygen but did you know, according to Science Focus magazine, one person inhales an average of 1,631 pounds of oxygen per year — roughly equating to seven or eight trees’ worth!
To build a sustainable future, LoadUp’s junk removal service contributes to reforestation efforts by donating monthly to One Tree Planted. This means your unwanted junk can now contribute to an overall greener planet.
Reforestation is crucial as trees remove pollution from the atmosphere, which improves air quality, our health, and more! Keep reading for more fun facts about trees.
11 Tree Fun Facts & Benefits:
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- Trees warn each other of danger
- Poisonous trees are a real thing
- There are trees with rainbow bark
- Trees are young considering the planet’s age
- Trees are the oldest living organisms on Earth
- The thickness of tree rings reveal health
- Trees can hear (kind of)
- Trees combat climate change
- Trees express themselves through sound, too
- Trees cannot feel pain
- Trees benefit our lifestyles (and lower our bills!)
1. Trees warn each other of danger
Insect infestations are bad news for trees. When polar and willow trees experience an infestation, they give their neighbors a heads up by producing an excess of chemicals called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These chemicals reduce the nutritional value of their leaves and make the intruders lack feeding sources. Makes sense, but here’s the cool part:
This signal communicates to neighboring trees of a potential infestation and they will also then produce VOCs to deter insects from spreading. Look alive, stay alive? Not in this case.
2. Poisonous trees are a real thing
When in Florida or the Caribbean, be careful which tree you sit under! Officially classified by the Guinness World Book of Records, the Manchineel tree is the world’s most poisonous tree. Every part of this tree, fruit included, can cause severe reactions like:
- Contact dermatitis
- Severe skin blistering
- Severe gastrointestinal issues when ingested
3. There are types of trees with rainbow bark
Yes, you read that correctly. The eucalyptus deglupta is native to the Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. As this tree grows, its bark peels to reveal the inner bark, which starts out in pastel green and deepens into orange, red, pastel blue, and sunset pink hues.
4. Trees are young considering the planet’s age
The earliest modern trees lived about 345-360 million years ago. While that is a long time ago, when you consider that the planet is 4.543 billion years old, they’re quite young!
🍄 What came before trees? Well, giant mushrooms (we think)! Trees have not always existed and started as plants that were only a few feet tall. Thanks to a fossil dug up in Saudi Arabia in 1859, scientists greatly debate what the huge spire is. Some argue there’s no way fungi could be 20ft tall. Still, a study concluded in 2007 the spires were a fungus, like a gigantic early mushroom.
5. Trees are the oldest living organisms on Earth
California’s White Mountains of Inyo County hold the record for the oldest living trees. These bristlecone pines and giant sequoias are 4,000-5,000 years old.
What is the oldest tree in the world?
The oldest living tree is a great basin bristlecone pine (pinus longaeva) that is 5,072 years old as of 2022. That means this tree was a sapling in 3050 BC! The identity and exact location of this tree have been kept a secret to protect it from vandalism and over-trampling.
6. The thickness of tree rings reveal health
While rings reveal the age of a tree, a lesser known fact is that scientists can tell how healthy an ecosystem is by the thickness of the rings. When the rings of a tree are thin, that indicates seasons of dry conditions, when they are thick the tree has had plenty of water!
The patterns of tree ring size help scientists gauge the impact of the Sun over time in any area. It’s how they can predict and create plans to water areas experiencing droughts or dehydration that we cannot see.
7. Trees can hear (kind of)
Trees can hear in the way that they sense vibrations. This means they know when there are animals or humans below, a noisy storm rumbling towards them and more.
However, music does not actually make plants or trees grow faster. Whether you’re playing Mozart or ‘Tik Tok songs’ all day long, their speed of growth won’t change.
Ho hum: To get a sense of how plants and trees hear, place a few fingers on your throat and hum low notes and then some high notes. You’ll notice the vibration changes depending on loudness and whether the note is high or low. This is similar to how trees sense sound vibrations.
8. Trees combat climate change
Trees combat climate change through the process of photosynthesis. Trees take in pounds of carbon dioxide and other pollutant particulates from the air and then emit pure oxygen. As we burn fossil fuels, trees and soil can capture carbon emissions and turn them into clean air.
Related Article: How to Build an Eco-Friendly House
9. Trees express themselves through sound, too
Through times of healthy growth, drought, and more, trees express different sounds. A healthy, happy tree sounds different than a stressed, dry tree. NatGeo explains that during a drought, stressed trees form small bubbles inside their trunks which cause an ultrasonic noise.
So, do trees cry? While they don’t cry in the sense of producing tears, trees do make “cries” or sounds when they’re stressed or not okay.
10. Trees cannot feel pain
While you may look after your plants like they’re your sweet, delicate babies, let’s put this misconception to rest. No, trees do not feel pain. Since plants and trees do not have a nervous system or brain, they do not have the pain receptors necessary to feel pain.
This means trees do not feel pain when cut down. As we’ve mentioned before, trees and plants do have defense mechanisms to protect themselves from insect infestations. However, they aren’t “in pain” but simply adapting to increase their chances of survival.
🐛 Hungry caterpillars vs plants. Arabidopsis (a mustard plant) sends out electrical signals from leaf to leaf when caterpillars or aphids try to make it a snack. These signals ramp up its chemical defenses. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “While this remarkable response is initiated by physical damage, the electrical warning signal is not equivalent to a pain signal.”
11. Trees benefit our lifestyles (and lower our bills!)
With over 60,000 identified tree species, trees benefit humans from easier air to breathe, cooler neighborhoods, better moods to fighting climate change. When you have a mature tree at home, they shade walkways and windows in the summer. This saves you money on cooling costs. Trees can reduce your winter heating utility bills by blocking the wind.
Trees also attract birds and wildlife, prevent soil erosion, clean our water, and add charm and a sense of history to our communities.
How you can help
Everyone deserves the benefits of trees. From forests to urban areas near you, planting a tree helps communities experience the benefits. Not only easier air to breathe and improved water quality, but studies show that lush environments result in overall better mental health.
So if you decide to get involved, consider planting trees in an urban area lacking greenery so that all neighborhoods can experience the benefits of trees. And, when you need to dispose of unwanted items, consider LoadUp’s junk removal service to turn your junk into a tree trunk.
Turn your unwanted stuff into trees!BOOK A PICKUP ❯
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