Why Trees are Important
By Rowan Adams

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Trees are big and old and beautiful.he beauty of trees is in their size, shape, and texture, and in the details of leaves, flowers, fruits, and bark. They change with the seasons, and we can enjoy watching them grow over our lifetimes and know that they will be there after us. Children grow up playing in and around trees, and can watch them grow as they grow. Because they are bigger than we are, and live longer, trees can be landmarks in space and time, giving us a sense of continuity, a connection with the past and the future. For many people trees give a sense of proportion, putting day-to-day worries into perspective. Trees are good for our health, and the health of the planet.

Environmental protection

Trees can:
• Slow down wind - plants grow better, heating bills go down.
• Give shade and protection against ultraviolet radiation (more is being let through because of ozone depletion) and skin cancer.
• Absorb pollution.
• Absorb carbon dioxide and slow down global climate change.
• Stabilise banks.
• Muffle noise.

Sustainable crops

Trees can provide us with:
• Timber and other craft materials.
• Fuel - wood can be burnt sustainably in cleanburn woodburning stoves in houses, larger buildings, and in small power stations.
• Food - fruit and nuts.
• Other products such as medicines and dyes (eg Asprin is derived from willow bark).

Wildlife habitats:

• Trees can give shelter and food for innumerable species of animals and plants.
• Trees are especially important if they form "green corridors" connecting habitats up with each other and with the countryside beyond.
• Some trees are wildlife in their own right, if they are native to Britain and indigenous to the place they are planted, and made their own way here after the last ice age without human help.