Six Amazing Tree Facts You Need to Know

Trees are everywhere. We grow them in our gardens, we pass them on our way to work, we walk among them in the countryside – yet how often do we stop to think about them?

As the lungs of the planet, trees play a vital role in the life of the earth – without them, neither we nor any other species would be here.

So in homage to them, we’ve put together a list of amazing tree facts that show just how incredible our leafy friends are.

The world’s oldest tree is around 80,000 years old

Amazing tree facts - PandoYep, you read that right – 80,000 years. Although technically not a single tree, the colony of quaking aspen trees in Utah has been found to be a single organism.

The colony is known variously as Pando or the Trembling Giant, and is assumed to be connected underground by one massive root system.

Its phenomenal age makes it the oldest living organism on the planet.

The rainforest is home to half of the world’s plant and animal species

Amazing tree facts - rainforestAlthough rainforests cover only around 6% of the earth’s surface, they’re estimated to contain 20-40 million different species.

More than 90% of those species are insects – one survey found over 50 different species of ant living on a single tree in the Amazon rainforest.

Deforestation is destroying the rainforest at an alarming rate, and with it the species that call it home.

Sumatran tigers, for example, now number just 400 in the wild as their Indonesian rainforest habitat has been cleared to make way for palm oil plantations.

The taiga is the world’s largest land habitat

Amazing tree facts - taigaThe taiga, also known as the boreal forest, is the largest land biome on earth. It’s characterised by coniferous forest comprising mainly pine, larch and spruce.

It extends across Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, northern Japan, Canada, northern USA, southern Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden. In total, it makes up 29% of the world’s forest cover.

The taiga experiences long, cold winters, with below-freezing temperatures for six months of the year. In some areas, temperatures can reach as low as −54°C.

The region is one of the worst affected by climate change in the world, having already experienced some dramatic temperature increases.

The largest tree-dwelling mammal is the orangutan

Amazing tree facts - orangutanOrangutans live in the Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. In Malay, the name orangutan means ‘person of the forest’.

Orangutans spend more time in trees than they do on the ground, unlike most of their primate pals. They even sleep in trees – in nests they build by bending and joining tree branches.

They’re incredibly strong and have an arm span longer than their bodies. This makes them great tree climbers and enables them to hang upside down for long periods of time to retrieve fruits and leaves.

More than a quarter of our medicines originate from rainforest plants

Amazing tree facts - rainforest flowerDespite this, we’ve only studied the medicinal properties of around 1% of rainforest plants.

At the rate the rainforests are disappearing, we could potentially be losing useful medicines every day.

The tallest tree in the world is 115.6m tall

Amazing tree facts - redwoodsIt’s a coast redwood called Hyperion, located in northern California. The giant tree is estimated to be 700-800 years old, and to contain around 530 cubic metres of wood.

Enjoyed these amazing tree facts?

These amazing tree facts demonstrate how our lives and those of countless other species depend on trees.

Despite this, humans are destroying forests faster than they can regenerate. Trees need our help, and we should do everything in our power to protect them.

We can look after them here at home as well. If you have a tree that needs some attention, get in touch with us today – we’d love to help.

 

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