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Monday, January 16, 2006

Facts about Trees II

Bristlecone Pines grow at high elevations on soils developed from carbonate rocks. The trees can survive for more than 4,000 years in these difficult conditions, where almost nothing else can grow. This tree is in the White Mountains in California's Basin and Range Province.

Tree Biology

  • Trees are the longest living organisms on earth.
  • Trees and other plants make their food through a process called photosynthesis.
  • The inside of a tree is made of cork, phloem, cambium, and xylem.
  • The xylem of a tree carries water from the roots to the leaves.

Trees and the Environment

  • Trees renew our air supply by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen.
  • Two mature trees can provide enough oxygen for a family of four. One tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year.
  • One acre of trees removes up to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide each year.
  • Shade trees can make buildings up to 20 degrees cooler in the summer.
  • Trees lower air temperature by evaporating water in their leaves.
  • Tree roots stabilize soil and prevent erosion.
  • Trees improve water quality by slowing and filtering rain water, as well as protecting aquifers and watersheds.
  • The cottonwood tree seed is the seed that stays in flight the longest. The tiny seed is surrounded by ultra-light, white fluff hairs that can carry it on the air for several days.

Record-Setting Trees

  • One of the tallest soft wood trees is the General Sherman, a giant redwood sequoia of California. General Sherman is about 275 ft or 84 m high with a girth of 25 ft or 8 m.
  • The 236 ft or 72 m high Ada Tree of Australia has a 50 ft or 15.4 m girth and a root system that takes up more than an acre.
  • The world's tallest tree is a coast redwood in California, measuring more than 360 ft or 110 m.
  • The world's oldest trees are 4,600 year old Bristlecone pines in the USA.

Picture: The General Sherman tree (
Sequoiadendron giganteum) in Sequoia National Park
is the largest living thing on earth. This tree measures 31 m (101.5 feet) in circumference at its base, and is 83 m (272.4 feet) tall, and has a total estimated weight of 6,167 tons.


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