15 Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know About Trees

Trees are more than just make our landscape look better. They are the life blood of our planet, not only does it provide us with food and shelter, but they also help us convert toxic carbon dioxide emissions into the oxygen which we breathe daily. In addition to trees making our world look better, there are plenty of other surprising facts that you may or may now know about trees. Here are the 15 of our favorite facts about trees.

1) Trees have the longest life span in comparison to any other living organism here on Earth

Not only can trees outlast any living organism on our planet, but some of them even live up to 4000 to 5000 years old. Out of all the recorded species of trees here on earth, the oldest species that our scientists could find is the Bristlecone Pines, specifically the Pinus Longaeva which can live up to 5000 years old. Not only does this tree live long, but it also thrives in cold harsh environments where cold temperature can be associated with harsh winds blowing against the tree. Due to the slow growth rate of this tree, it creates a really dense wood-like structure which helps protect it from insects, fungi, rot, and erosion. These trees can reach up to 50 feet tall and have a trunk diameter of 154 inches, which makes this tree really sturdy against even harsher environments such as typhoons and hurricanes.  Recently Town Line Tree Removal has had the pleasure of trimming some dead branches off of a Pinkosycamore that was almost 300 years old in Simsbury, CT.

2) We have figured out how to predict climate change by just simply looking at a tree’s rings

I’m sure you know by now that just by counting the rings on the tree could tell you how old the tree is, but I’m sure you’re surprised to find out that our scientists can also use this method to predict climate change. Other than climate change you can also predict whether or not there will be an volcanic eruption for the trees situated around an active volcano. Also, you can also tell if there will be a drought. A good indicator that scientists usually use to see if the area has a healthy eco-system is when they see that the rings on the tree are thick. If the rings on the tree are thin or dry, it could be a good indicator of a coming drought, or having scarce resources in the eco-system that the tree is living in. A study from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology showed that the increasing heat index and temperature of place in India has had an negative effect on tree growth due to high potential evapotranspiration—the rate at which plants lose water through their leaves. These different kinds of studies to trees done by our scientists help them understand the impact of climate change.

3) Planting trees around your home can help you reduce your electricity usage

Trees are the natural umbrellas of nature. It has provided shelter for humans on cold days,  and cooled us down from the sun during the warmer days of the year for thousands of years and thousands of years more if we take start doing our part and becoming environmentally aware of our situation with nature. If you live in a warm desert, having full grown trees on a hot summer day can help you cool down your home, and help you reduce electricity usage by up to 25%!

4) According to our scientists trees may have not existed for the first 90% of Earth’s history

Our scientists estimate that Earth is roughly about 4.5 billion years old, and plants may have started only growing on land as recently as 470 million years ago. These plants may not have been the plants that were accustomed to now, but most likely there more like mosses and liverworts without deep roots. Following this period, vascular plants followed 420 million after, but even for millions of years after that, no plant species were able to grow more than 3 feet above ground.

5) Just like all living things, trees have a defense mechanism against attacks as well

Have you ever heard a rumor that trees, plants, fruits, or vegetables can feel pain when your biting into them or chopping them up for self-use? It was never a proven theory, but trees do have a defense mechanism when its life is threatened. For example, our scientists have found that trees excrete a certain chemical called phenolics when insects starting infesting a tree. Specifically, willow trees can excrete certain chemicals when they’re attacked by webworms, and other willow trees can produce more tannin making their leaves harder for the worms to digest.  Tim at New Milford Tree Service says that many trees have strong defense mechanisms that help to mitigate these attacks.  One of the strongest trees is the willow because of the chemicals they excrete.

6) Trees can help reduce any unwanted noise from your annoying neighbors

Trees can help reduce noise through a process called sound attenuation, which is the reduction of sound intensity. How exactly does this process work? Any time sound is made it travels to all directions until it dies down when it reaches a certain point depending on the sound intensity. Leaves, twigs, and branches on trees, shrubs, and plants can help absorb the sound, and could even deflect certain sound  waves. So if you have a very annoying and noisy neighbor, the fastest way to get them to tone down is by calling 911. Joking aside, trees do a great job in reducing any unwanted noise on your property.

7) Trees can help you reduce your stress levels

Have you ever felt stressed out, and just felt that you just need to go for a walk to wind down? Trees play a big factor in helping you reduce your stress, and even make you happier and more relaxed if the weather conditions are perfect. Not only does trees help keep environment cooler, but it also helps make your surroundings look more visually appealing which helps you relax even more. Quinnipiac Tree Services helps college students that attend Quinnipiac University in North Haven, CT reduce stress by planting a few new trees around the campus every year.

8) The first known tree that was recorded in our history originated from New York

Now that you know that trees preset for more than 90% of our planet’s history, the first actual recorded tree in history called the “arborescence”. It is the process of when plants have evolved into a tree like form which we are familiar with today. It was a fern-like tree shaped like a fan with no branches hanging towards the bottom part. Although this may not be a tree that we are all familiar with today, it had the same mechanics as a tree would today where water would go up from the roots, and its leaves would help provide even more nutrients helping it evolve to different tree species throughout its evolution.

9) More than half of our known tree species are only located from one country

A census back in 2017 highlights that more than 60,065 species of trees which is almost 60% of all our trees are single-country endemics, meaning each one naturally occurs only within the borders of one nation. Between Brazil, Colombia, and Indonesia they have the highest totals for endemic tree species, which makes them to have the most known tree species native to their country.

10) Trees in the forest actually talk to each other and share nutrients underground

Trees and plants have a symbiotic relationship with other due to mycorrhizal fungi that live on their roots creating an underground network where tree can help each other absorb more water and nutrients from the soil. In return, other trees who have been helped share a certain sugar from a process called photosynthesis.

11) Proper maintenance of tree scan help you improve your property’s curb appeal which in return increases its value

According to a recent survey, mature and properly maintained trees in a well-landscaped yard can help increase the curb appeal therefore increase the value of any property by up to 19%. This study was done across multiple states with different correspondents living in different types of urban and rural areas. You can always call your local tree service for a fair estimate on tree maintenance for your property.

12) Trees improve water quality in the ground

As rain falls from the sky, it passes through the leaves of the trees. Leaves from the trees slow down the raindrop before it falls to the ground, and acts like filters of rain water which allows the soil to better absorb the water, or till it can be slowly released into bodies of water such as lakes or rivers. Trees can also prevent soil from eroding into our waterways, reduce storm water runoff, and lessen potential damage that can be cause by flooding.

13) A tree’s trunk and branches can grow at different times throughout the year

Oftentimes, most of the growth for foliage happens in the spring, which is then followed by trunk growth in the summer, and trees will grow their roots typically throughout winter and fall.

14) Some trees emit chemicals that attract all sorts of bugs to defend themselves from potential infestation

Trees may look passive and helpless, but they are very instinctive similar to animals. Not only can they produce chemicals to combat leaf-eating insects, for instance, but some also release chemicals into the air to warn nearby trees to prepare for an insect attack. Scientists have found out that a wide range of trees and other plants become more resistant to insect infestation after receiving these signals.

15) Trees can consume up to 100-500 gallons of water per day which helps with flooding

This is why deforestation is a problem in a lot of countries that experience wide-spread flooding. Trees helps us absorb all the rain water which helps prevent flooding. Of course having more trees is part of the solution, but it does not completely prevent the problem of flooding.