TREES ARE GOOD
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Trees are such great neighbours – to us, to the environment and to the animals, insects and birds that rely on them so much.
Let’s find out more!
The Benefit of Trees
Trees support the lives of many plants, insects, birds, mammals and decomposers. They provide shelter, shade, food, resting and nesting spaces and are places from which to hunt or capture prey.
Leaves and Fruit
Their leaves are food for herbivorous insects and when trees mature, bigger creatures such are birds and mammals are able to enjoy their delicious fruits, nuts and seeds.
Decayed and fallen branches are habitats for earthworms, beetles, woodlice and other creepy crawlies. Dead leaves keep a whole ecosystem of decomposers busy breaking down them down and returning their nutrients to the soil. These include fungi and bacteria as well as tiny creepy crawlies.
Ivy: Ivy often uses a tree for support as it climbs upwards looking for enough light to be able to develop flowers and berries. It only uses the tree as support, it doesn’t suck any nourishment out of the tree or harm it in any way.
As the trunk gets covered in ivy, this increases enormously the value of the tree for wildlife. Robins can nest in the ivy. Spiders, and smaller insects of all sorts live and feed among the ivy leaves. Clusters of snails or ladybirds can hibernate there for the winter because ivy is an evergreen plant and has leaves all through the winter.
In fact, ivy does most of its growing when there are no leaves on the tree – a full canopy of leaves keeps it in check. So as a tree nears the end of its days its leaf canopy declines with old age and more light gets through to the ivy. It can grow more strongly then, leading some people to think that the ivy is killing the tree. It’s not, it is just availing of the increased amount of light as the trees weakens naturally with old age.
An ivy-covered tree is much more valuable for biodiversity that one with a clean trunk.
Trees are the Best of Neighbours for Humans Too!
When trees are big, and you are little, you can climb them and see far and wide. Or you can hang a swing or a tyre and sway to and fro as you look up at the leaves fluttering in the breeze. And who doesn’t love a tree house? Camouflaged by branches and leaves, it is the best place to have a club or a fort with friends!
Trees provide shade and soothing sounds for big people too, who love to sit underneath trees in summer and enjoy their company.