7 No 3
Reflections of a Rhizophora Seedling
about the common names of plants
an extinct Cymbidium
at the Park
Rediscovered Palm at the Park: Nibong
Deborah Yeo shares her volunteer experience
The value of trees by Julian
Nick's encounter with Smooth Otters at the Park
About the signboards
at the Park
Up & Coming Boardwalks
and Tower Hide
My friends have asked if I knew the value of trees. Though most people will say that trees provide the much-needed shade and beautification of our surroundings, in my opinion, trees contribute a lot more in many other ways.
Perhaps the most important factor is that trees give off oxygen as a by-product of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process in which plants lock away carbon dioxide (a major global warming suspect) to produce food. Imagine if we were to cut down all the world's remaining trees gradually, what do you think will happen to the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?
As we know, about 50% of the medicine we use today comes from the rainforest, there might be the possibility that some of those trees which were chopped down contain medicinal values which could help us fight dreadful diseases like cancer and Aids. If we do not do anything right now to conserve or even reverse the situation, the resulting consequences would be most grievous and unimaginable.
Other than being life generators, trees also make effective sound barriers and windbreaks. If planted at strategic positions in a neighbourhood or around your house, they can abate noise from busy roads, highways and even airports up to about 40%. During windy and cold seasons, trees act as windbreaks. A windbreak can lower home heating bills up to 30%. A reduction in wind can also reduce the drying effect on other vegetation behind the windbreak.
Trees also play an important part in keeping the air clean. They help cleanse the air by intercepting airborne particles, reducing heat, and absorbing pollutants. Trees help to remove this air pollution by lowering air temperature, through respiration, and by retaining the particulate. Other major advantages include, fighting soil erosion, conserving rainwater, reducing the effect of water runoff and sediment deposits after storms and of course, providing homes and shelter for a wide variety of wildlife.
I hope that after reading this article, you will realise the continual survival of these fragile giants would also mean Man's continual survival on this planet. Remember that saving these trees would also mean saving ourselves.
© Sungei Buloh Nature Park