Trees are arguably one of the most important natural resources on Earth and with increasing environmental challenges, there’s no better time than the present to educate your kids on these woody plants. With our list of 50 educational tree facts, you’ll grow their botanical knowledge and develop their understanding of the massive impact that trees make on our world.
1. Trees are the longest-living organisms on Earth, with some living thousands of years.
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2. There are over 60,000 species of trees worldwide.
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3. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen, making them invaluable for humans and wildlife.
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4. A mature oak tree can release up to 700 gallons (2,650 liters) of evaporated water into the atmosphere per day.
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5. The rings inside a tree trunk can help scientists determine the age of the tree and the climatic conditions during each year of a tree’s life.
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6. Trees provide habitats and food for numerous bird, mammal, and insect species.
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7. The world’s tallest known tree is a coast redwood named “Hyperion” which measures 379.7 feet (115.6 meters).
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8. Trees can act as sound barriers, reducing noise pollution.
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9. They can also serve as windbreaks, protecting against strong gusts of wind.
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10. Tree roots help prevent soil erosion.
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11. In many cultures, trees are revered and considered sacred.
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12. The oldest known tree is a Bristlecone Pine named Methuselah, which is over 4,800 years old.
13. Trees can save energy. Placing trees on the southern and western sides of a building can reduce the need for air conditioning.
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14. Trees play a significant role in reducing urban heat islands by providing shade.
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15. Some trees have unique ways to combat pests. For example, the neem tree has seeds that produce oil with natural insect-repelling properties.
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16. The bark of the quinine tree was the original source of quinine, used to treat malaria.
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17. The cork oak tree has bark that can be harvested without harming the tree. This bark regenerates and can be harvested every 9 to 12 years.
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18. Trees communicate with each other through underground fungal networks, often referred to as the “Wood Wide Web.”
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19. Deforestation is a significant environmental concern, with millions of acres of forests being lost every year.
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20. Forests cover about 31% of the world’s total land area.
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21. The Amazon Rainforest produces 20% of the world’s oxygen supply.
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22. Baobab trees, found in Africa and Australia, can store up to 32,000 gallons (121,000 liters) of water in their trunks.
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23. The largest single living organism on Earth is believed to be a grove of quaking aspen trees named “Pando,” which is genetically identical and shares a single root system.
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24. Trees are vital for watershed protection, acting as natural water filters.
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25. The art of studying trees is called dendrology.
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26. The process of planting trees to restore a forest or area is known as afforestation.
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27. Trees absorb a variety of pollutants like sulfur dioxide, ammonia, and nitrogen oxides, thus cleaning the air we breathe.
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28. The Japanese practice of “forest bathing” or “shinrin-yoku” emphasizes the health benefits of spending time under the canopy of a living forest.
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29. One large tree can lift up to 100 gallons (approximately 378.5 liters) of water out of the ground and release it into the air in a day.
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30. Tree planting events such as Arbor Day encourage individuals and communities to plant and care for trees.
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31. Many medicines and drugs, like aspirin, are derived from compounds found in trees.
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32. The study of tree rings is called dendrochronology.
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33. The shade and wind buffering provided by trees reduce annual heating and cooling costs by 2.1 billion dollars.
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34. The term “tree hugger” originated from an environmental movement in India where people physically embraced trees to prevent them from being chopped down.
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35. Trees help combat the greenhouse effect by absorbing carbon dioxide.
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36. Trees planted along waterways can help filter out chemicals from the water before they reach larger bodies of water.
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37. The sequoia tree species has some of the thickest tree bark in the world, with some measuring up to 2 feet thick.
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38. Banyan trees are known for their aerial roots that grow downwards from the branches and can become new trunks.
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39. Some trees, like the cherry or apple tree, are grown for their beautiful blossoms or delicious fruits.
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40. The diameter of a tree can be estimated by its age and the species’ growth factor.
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41. Trees play a pivotal role in many of the world’s mythologies and religions.
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42. Willow trees contain salicylic acid, which is the foundation of modern aspirin.
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43. Trees reduce UV radiation exposure by about 50%.
44. Some trees develop a defense mechanism called “crown shyness,” where the crowns of fully stocked trees do not touch each other.
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45. Every state in the U.S. has an official state tree.
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46. The process of shaping living trees into art or functional structures is known as arborsculpture.
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47. Ancient trees are often used as notable landmarks in various cultures and stories.
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48. Trees are capable of “crying” or releasing water, which is a phenomenon known as “tree sap bleeding.”
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49. Some tree species, like the lodgepole pine, require fire to regenerate and grow.
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50. The scent of freshly-cut grass is actually a plant distress call, which trees and other plants can “hear” and respond to by ramping up their own defenses.
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