We’re a big fan of TREES.
Aside the fact that trees actually breath, they are also able to do seven things that makes them as much a living thing as we are.
Just hold on a sec…
Before we delve into our 5 most fascinating facts about trees, we’d like to refresh your memories about something we consider crucial on this fact finding journey.
Most of us were thought this lesson in our elementary school.
Remember MR NIGER D? If you don’t, well, we are here to help.
M- movement, R-respiration, N-Nutrition, I- irritability, G-growth, E-excretion, R- reproduction and D- Death.
There he is, the amazing
“Mr NIGER D”… LOL
That done, Here are 5 of our favourite fascinating facts about trees.
- SOME TREES NEVER DIE…AT LEAST NOT OF OLD AGE: We’ll be right to say that some species of trees are biologically immortal! Now this is not to say that they do not eventually die of other causes, but old age isn’t one of them. The bristlecone pine is just one example. These North American trees are incredibly old. One, known as Methuselah has been alive for nearly five thousand years in a forest in California. There’s also a 3,600-year-old cypress in Chile, and a sacred fig in Sri Lanka that was planted in the third century B.C! How Awe inspiring is that!?
- SOME TREES DON’T HAVE A GROWTH CEILING: Of all the surprising facts about trees, it’s perhaps their staggering height that inspires the most awe and wonder. The towering great granddaddy of them all is a coast redwood specie called Hyperion. This tree is a massive 116 metres high. That’s about 20 metres taller than the Big Ben! This coastal redwood is so tall that its top can’t even be seen from the ground. Located in a secret spot in Redwood National Park, California, this is one specie that has no actual growth ceiling. In fact, they’ll only stop growing when their highest leaves start dying of thirst.
- TREES HELP EACH OTHER TO WARD OFF PREDATORS: Amazing right? These trees literally have each other’s “barks”. For instance, some tree species can release airborne chemical signals to each other to warn them about incoming threats like insects. Their closest neighbours then produce tannins, which make their leaves taste bitter to approaching predators. Those airborne signals can also work in another way that’s even more impressive. That’s because trees can attract predators or parasites that kill an invading pest. A 2013 study for instance found that apple trees under attack by caterpillars can release chemicals that attract caterpillar-eating birds.
- TREES HAVE A ‘NATIONALITY’: Just as humans have races and nationalities, trees do too! Fascinatingly, more than half of all tree species exist only in a single country – almost 58 percent, to be precise. In fact, a recent study found that many naturally occur only within the borders of a single nation – with Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia having the highest totals for native tree species. There are currently around 60,000 species of trees in the world – and of those, about 300 are critically endangered, with fewer than 50 individuals left in the wild.
- TREES HAVE THEIR OWN SPECIAL ‘INTERNET’ TO COMMUNICATE: It is like their own special means to talk to each other. They manage to do this through an incredible underground system created by soil fungi which they use to share nutrients. A special mycorrhizal type of fungi lives on the roots of many trees. They help trees to absorb water and nutrients from the soil – but they also work on a much larger scale, like an underground internet, to connect entire forests. Essentially, the fungi help the trees to create a huge, intricately connected platform to both communicate and share resources. It means that older, larger trees (known as ‘mother trees’) can be connected to hundreds of younger trees around them. They can then send nutrients, water and even whatever carbon they don’t use through the funghi network to smaller seedlings.
There you go, excitingly fun facts if I can say so myself. Our 5 favourite fascinating facts about trees.
Now that you know, ask someone else if they. If they don’t, feel free to share.
How cool will it be to have at least 200 fruit trees in every school across Africa? Want to know more? Click here and find details.