Thursday, November 18, 2010

Today's Trivia - Trees

This week it’s all about fun facts about trees...

- Trees keep our air supply fresh by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen.

- In one year, an acre of trees can absorb as much carbon as is produced by a car driven up to 8700 miles.

- Trees are the longest living organisms on earth.

- Trees lower air temperature by evaporating water in their leaves.

- The average tree in metropolitan area survives only about 8 years!

- A tree does not reach its most productive stage of carbon storage for about 10 years.

- Tree roots stabilize the soil and prevent erosion.

- Trees provide protection from downward fall of rain, sleet, and hail as well as reduce storm run-off and the possibility of flooding.

- Trees located along streets act as a glare and reflection control.

- One of the tallest soft wood trees is the General Sherman, a giant redwood sequoia of California. General Sherman is about 275 ft or 84 m high with a girth of 25 ft or 8 m.

- The 236 ft or 72 m high Ada Tree of Australia has a 50 ft or 15.4 m girth and a root system that takes up more than an acre.

- The world's tallest tree is a coast redwood in California, measuring more than 360 ft or 110 m.

- The bristlecone pine is the oldest living tree -- one specimen is 4,600 years old!

- Trees provide shade and shelter, reducing yearly heating and cooling costs by 2.1 billion dollars.

- Trees cut down noise pollution by acting as sound barriers.

- Trees provide food and shelter for wildlife.

- The death of one 70-year old tree would return over three tons of carbon to the atmosphere.

- Trees renew our air supply by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen.

- The amount of oxygen produced by an acre of trees per year equals the amount consumed by 18 people annually. One tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year.

- One acre of trees removes up to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide each year.

- Shade trees can make buildings up to 20 degrees cooler in the summer.

- The cottonwood tree seed is the seed that stays in flight the longest. The tiny seed is surrounded by ultra-light, white fluff hairs that can carry it on the air for several days.

- Native Americans used the western redcedar tree to make totem poles and canoes. They also wove its bark into baskets, fishing nets, and fabric!

- Trees, like people, have a natural life cycle and a finite life span. Trees grow up, grow old, and eventually die. The lifespan of a tree is influenced by a variety of natural events, including the availability of water, sun, the presence or absence of wind, fires, insects, and diseases.

- The Pacific Yew tree, which grows in northern Idaho, produces a cancer-fighting agent called "taxol." Doctors use taxol to control ovarian and other types of cancer.

- Since European settlement, Australia's forest cover has been reduced from 69 million hectares to 41 million hectares.

- Trees first appeared on Earth long before the dinosaurs did - about 400 million years ago.

- Trees are the largest of all living things - some species can grow 100 metres tall and weigh 600 tonnes.

- Trees combat the greenhouse effect and slow the effects of global warming. They soak up carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen for us to breath.

- Trees help prevent soil erosion and landslides.

- Car owners can plant native trees to counter the greenhouse emissions of their vehicle travel. 17 native trees over their lifetime (around 30 years) can offset the carbon emissions produced by an average year of car use (for details visit the Greenfleet web site), or this same amount can be offset within one year by planting 200 native trees (for details visit the TreeSmart web site).

- Native plant habitats support a host of insects and other creatures that provide free services on which we all depend. It is estimated that one-third of our food comes from plants that rely on native pollinators!
Trees improve water quality by acting as a filter to unwanted nutrients and pesticides.

- Trees can prevent soil salination and provide soil enrichment through the action of nitrogen-fixing bacteria that are found in the tree roots.

- Trees have many commercial uses that include timber building materials, paper products, furniture, medicines such as aspirin and quinine and fuel for cooking & heating.

- Trees produce a great range of edible fruit and nuts including apples, bananas, mangos, avocados, macadamias and Brazil nuts.

- Many trees can outlive humans, and some can live more than 1000 years. Australia's oldest tree is the King Billy Pine, found in Tasmania and estimated to be over 1200 years old!

- The Wollemi Pine which is only found in Wollemi National Park near Sydney, is a "living fossil" with a heritage of over 100 million years. There are only 40 trees in the wild and they have the lowest known genetic variability of any plant species.

- Eucalyptus trees are Australia's most common tree species and can grow up to 50 metres. California, South America and India have all cultivated eucalyptus trees for paper, insect repellents, chest rubs and cough drops.

Now, wasn’t this interesting? I know I learned a few new things...


  1. I love trees! Haha, not really a surprise, I know!

  2. Yup, not really a surprise, Liza! :) I love trees, too.