Trees are important for many reasons

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 8, 2014

Once, before I learned I have no talent for math, I wanted to be a forester because I loved the woods. I was out in the woods all the time. Where I grew up, there were woods adjacent to a pasture just behind the house.

To get into the woods, you had to get past a group of black thorn trees a neighbor grew for fence posts. It was easy to get stuck on those thorns, or worse, tear your clothes. Mom would get angry when that happened.

I have learned through life that woods, and their trees, are more than just a place for boys to roam relatively wild and free. They help control the Earth’s temperature, absorb carbon dioxide, help recycle water, that and much, much more is all besides their importance to us as a source of lumber and pecans. I had to mention those, they are my favorite nut.

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But this shade that helps control Earth’s temperature is often ignored today. Once, before air conditioning, shade trees were important in a yard. It’s where you could get cool on hot, summertime days, especially if there was a breeze blowing. My favorite tree in that regard was a weeping willow in our backyard. To be inside the space next to the trunk formed by the drooping branches was the coolest place to be when the days really got hot. Hurricane Audrey, however, when she hooked east toppled that tree and we never had another to replace it.

Trees are still important for their shade and many other attributes, even to those who enjoy air conditioning all day on the hot days. Who hasn’t tried to claim the parking space in the shade of a nearby tree? For that reason and all the others, including a place to roam, we need to preserve our trees, especially in a city.