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Why Trees Matter

April 14, 2012

I haven’t uploaded anything here in a while because I’m currently in Jalisco, Mexico on a project site with very limited internet access. I should have some interesting photos up in a few days. For now, here’s an article worth reading that my mom forwarded to me, from the NY Times op-ed:

 

Why Trees Matter

By Jim Robbins

“TREES are on the front lines of our changing climate. And when the oldest trees in the world suddenly start dying, it’s time to pay attention.

North America’s ancient alpine bristlecone forests are falling victim to a voracious beetle and an Asian fungus. In Texas, a prolonged drought killed more than five million urban shade trees last year and an additional half-billion trees in parks and forests. In the Amazon, two severe droughts have killed billions more.

The common factor has been hotter, drier weather.

We have underestimated the importance of trees. They are not merely pleasant sources of shade but a potentially major answer to some of our most pressing environmental problems. We take them for granted, but they are a near miracle. In a bit of natural alchemy called photosynthesis, for example, trees turn one of the seemingly most insubstantial things of all — sunlight — into food for insects, wildlife and people, and use it to create shade, beauty and wood for fuel, furniture and homes….”

… read the whole article here, Why Trees Matter (NY Times)

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 14, 2012 10:08:23 am

    The same thing has been happening here. Eucalyptus obliqua (that like wetter cooler conditions) are all dying and Eucalyptus viminalis (more drought hardy) are still ok at the moment. We were discussing the fungal invasion and immenant demise of our Eucalyptus obliqua on our property and he told us that his property was the same. He is of the same opinion, that the recent hot, dry weather has taken its toll and the E. obliqua are all starting to die. When you live out in the country you become increasingly aware of just how important trees are to everything. Steve and I have been planting trees out on our property in earnest lately because of the condition of our existing trees. We will be very interested to see what you are about to share with us about your trip.

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