Trees not only have symbolic importance in many sacred texts but they have numerous practical purposes, as well.

We each inhale 35 lbs. of oxygen daily, all from plants and we require 7 trees to convert the carbon dioxide we exhale into oxygen. Asthma and other chronic respiratory ailments are devastating, especially to children, in many urban areas. Trees in the US alone remove hundreds of thousands of tons of pollution from the air.

watercolor: Kishor Raval

Trees save energy by shading homes in the summer, releasing cooling moisture into the air, and providing windbreaks in the winter.

Trees enhance water quality by filtering and storing water because they act to prevent excess storm runoff.

Studies have shown that planting trees increases property values, improves recovery times for hospital patients, encourages serenity and relaxation, reduces violence, and increases pride in local communities.

Trees are critical in combating climate disruption by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the wood, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. To be specific, “A tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and can sequester 1 ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old.”

Do we need more reasons to plant trees?

Thanks to Mark Smith of Germantown Interfaith Power & Light Tree Tenders — a community outreach project by the Philadelphia Chapter of PA IPL.