Happy Arbor Day from all of us at Nature Knowledge! To celebrate, we’re sharing our top ten favorite facts about trees.
- There are over 23,000 different kinds of trees.
- Trees don’t die of old age and are some of the longest-living organisms on the planet.
- One large tree can provide a whole day’s supply of oxygen to four people.
- A tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide in one year. That’s almost 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide for a 40-year-old tree.
- Pine cones have genders, and pine trees are the only species of tree to spread their seeds in cones.
- Trees lower the temperature by evaporating water through their leaves and releasing it into the air.
- The practice of “knocking on wood” is derived from the pagan belief that malevolent spirits inhabited wood. When they expressed a hope for the future, knocking on nearby wood prevented the spirits from hearing it and stopping your hope from coming true.
- If you get lost in the woods, look to the trees to find your way. In northern temperate climates, moss grows on the shady northern side of the trunk. And in the northern hemisphere, you can see the rings of the tree grow slightly thicker on the southern side of a tree stump since that side receives more light. The opposite is true in the southern hemisphere, with thicker rings on the northern side of tree stumps.
- The leaves, trunk and roots of a tree all grow during different seasons. Most of the leaves sprout and grow during the spring, while the trunk grows in the summer and the roots grow throughout the fall and winter.
- “Moon trees” are grown from seeds taken to the moon during the Apollo 14 mission in early 1971. Scientists wanted to see if orbiting the moon as a seed affected the tree’s growth, but there were no discernible differences.
To honor the holiday, our Living Classrooms students are each planting a tree in their national park and heading to the arboretum to learn more about these incredible living organisms.
How are you celebrating Arbor Day? Are you planting a tree? Did we miss your favorite fact about trees? It would make our day to talk about trees with you in the comments.