The importance of trees cannot be exaggerated to any degree. This is because without trees, the Earth would be uninhabitable. Humans and wildlife could never survive without the benefits we receive from trees and other plant life. Trees do not actually “make” oxygen, but they do facilitate the production of breathable air. Continue reading to learn more about oxygen, trees, and our precious Eco-system and environment.
Trees and plant life use a process called photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) to oxygen (O2). Photosynthesis literally means “to put together with light”. This means photosynthesis is driven by the power of the sun! You see, the sunlight is the “light” and bits of CO2 and water are the pieces being “put together”. Once a tree has these three ingredients (light, carbon dioxide, and water), it uses the sun’s energy to release the carbon from the CO2, and then combine it with water, making an environmental carbohydrate, or simply-put, sugar. These carbs and sugars are basically food for trees. When trees are making these carbohydrates, the excess water not used contains oxygen which is released into the air for our benefit! So you see, trees do not necessarily make oxygen for us, they are simply using photosynthesis to produce food that subsequently gives off extra oxygen for the surrounding environment! It’s all very fascinating!
For extra knowledge, it is fun to know that photosynthesis takes place in the cells that live inside each tree leaf. Did you know that just one tree is made up of trillions of cells? Tree cells also contain smaller special cells called Chloroplasts, where the photosynthesis actually takes place. Each cell can contain up to 100 Chloroplast cells. That’s a lot of oxygen for us! Inside the Chloroplasts are pigments that absorbs sunlight. You are surely familiar with the most common chloroplast pigment, Chlorophyll; which is green like most plants and tree leaves! For water, trees use their roots, tree trunks, and stems, to drink up the groundwater around them.
Humans and other wildlife breathe out carbon dioxide. Tree leaves have little pores that actually suck in the CO2 in the air. When the sunlight hits the chlorophyll, the chloroplasts invoke the suns energy in order to begin photosynthesis. Trees make the carbs and sugar they need, while releasing oxygen into the air through the tiny pores on its leaves.