Trees are fascinating living organisms. As the oldest living beings on our planet, they continue to create so many benefits for humans and the other species on our planet.
Here is just a short list of interesting facts about trees.
Trees are one of the oldest species on this planet. Scientists believe that trees are over 400 million years old. It’s believed that frees first developed from fungi that could grow up to 26’ wide.
Trees can help with human’s stress levels! Various studies have shown that just being around trees can make us calmer by lowering cortisol and adrenaline. Spending time around trees lowers blood pressure and can greatly improve our mood. Being around trees can be fantastic for our mental health!
The largest living tree in the world resides right here in North America. Named General Sherman, this giant sequoia lives in middle California in the National Sequoia park. This tree is 275 ft high, and has a diameter of 25 ft. It’s also estimated that it’s 2,300–2,700 years old!
Wondering how long tree seeds can stay alive? As long as you can store them in cold dry conditions, they can actually stay alive for hundreds of years. In fact, scientists in Israel have grown a tree from a 2,000 year old palm tree seed found during archeological excavations.
Tree rings don’t just show us the age of a tree. The rings can also tell us the history of the earth’s changing climate. For example, light colored wood can indicate that the wood grew in the Spring and the darker color wood grew in late Summer or Fall. Tree rings usually are wider in warm wet years, while the thinner rings indicate cold and dry conditions.
The Dwarf Willow is the shortest tree in the world. It typically only grows 1-6 cm high and has shiny round leaves and branches that are only about 1 cm long. This tree grows in the Northern Hemisphere in cold regions.
Bonsai’s are technically trees, but they aren’t a species of trees. They are actually alterations of large trees and are made from different species. You can take a cut from a larger tree to make a bonsai tree, which is then maintained to keep its small structure.
The largest contiguous forest in the world is called the Taiga and is located throughout the northern hemisphere and expands through several countries. It mostly consists of pines, larches and spruces. Although it stretches through parts of Alaska, the largest portion of this forest is in Russia and Canada.
The world’s oldest fossil tree was discovered in New York, dating back 386 million years ago. Scientists believe that the fossils they found were part of an ancient forest that stretched from New York to Pennsylvania. These trees played a very important role in developing life on the planet and helping to cool our planet, making it livable for future species.
You can read some of our additional articles that highlight some of the major benefits of trees!