Trees may appear simplistic & basic, but beneath the surface there is a lot to trees than meets the eyes. From photosynthesis, to trees being double (or larger) than their perceived size, trees have unique and complex processes which allow them to thrive all around the world.
The Anatomy of a Tree
We can find trees all around the world, with the exception of some deserts, and the far North and South. Different variations of trees can be found in some deserts. The far North & South are generally too cold, and don't receive enough sunlight in their respective winters to support trees.
Trees are integral to nature and almost all ecosystems. Without them, it could be argued that humanity would not even be possible. This is because trees release oxygen, and take in carbon dioxide. We breathe the opposite, creating a perfect relationship.
In today's post, we will be breaking down the basics of all trees. In our next post, we will reveal several hidden benefits to trees in cities!
Trees are usually double their perceived size, and even greater. This is because roots travel as far beneath the surface of Earth as the tree goes up. A tree 100 feet high likely has roots that go 100 feet below.
Roots also travel in all different directions. The roots of a tree, although unseen, can make up just as much of a tree as what we can see!
During intense weather, roots ensure that the tree remains grounded. Without roots the tree could easily "fall over" from its immense weight. Even small trees can be hard to move because of the powerful roots.
Tree roots also collect nutrients and water from the soil. They then store these nutrients and water underground where it's cooler. Water is stored underground in the tree so that sunlight does not cause the water to evaporate.
During dry or tough times, the tree can use these stored resources to survive.
The crown of a tree is made up of the top of the trunk, leaves, and branches. It is the "head" if you will of the tree.
The function of the crown is to collect sunlight and water from the top, and block sunlight below. By shading the area beneath the tree, the bottom of the trunk and roots can remain cooler.
By remaining cooler, more water can be stored. Sunlight evaporates water quicker than people realize.
Branches extend from the trunk of the tree and hold leaves. The purpose of branches is to allow leaves to collect as much sunlight as possible. The branches can then store nutrients that the leaves collect.
Leaves are green, and turn different colors in Autumn. The purpose of leaves is to collect sunlight & water. They use a process called photosynthesis, in which sunlight is turned into sugar.
The sugar is then transported into the branches and stored.
During the winter, trees usually lose their leaves. This is because the climate will become too harsh for leaves to be useful. With less sunlight, leaves can't collect as much sugar, making them not useful to hold.
So the tree lets go of the leaves, and enters a state of "hibernation" during the winter. During the spring, the leaves begin to grow back and the process repeats.
The trunk of a tree is the "body." It holds everything together. It is the big middle part of a tree. It is sturdy, strong, and supports the entire tree.
It also stores resources when resources are abundant.
Variations of Trees
There are several variations of trees that can be found all over the world. A desert tree will look and function significantly different than a tree found in the Amazon Rain-forest.
Both have for the most part the same anatomy, but specific functions can change slightly so the tree is more suited for the environment. Some trees may keep some leaves during the winter for example, whereas other trees will let go of all of their leaves.
The specific function & variation of a tree is respective to its environment. Adaptations are made so the tree can best survive.
Importance of Trees
Trees and other plants fuel life on Earth. They collect sunlight and turn it into food. Fruits are then grown, and other plants are eaten by herbivores & omnivores.
Humans breathe in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Trees do the opposite, creating a perfection relationship. We breathe what the trees let out, and the trees breathe what we let out!
Nature & trees have also been scientifically proven to reduce crime rates in cities, and help people heal faster. In our next post, we will be writing about the hidden benefits of integrating nature with trees.
We hope you enjoyed this read and look forward to seeing you again. Thanks!
-Wildlife X Team International