The Benefits of Forests
Planting trees vastly improves the quality of our natural surroundings. Forests and copses of trees reduce the risks of soil erosion, enhance the water quality in streams and ponds, and protect groundwater supplies. Forests store water on the canopy, leaves, and stems of trees but water is also absorbed and retained in plant tissue before being released back into the environment through a combination of evaporation and transpiration.
Trees play a pivotal role in the hydrologic cycle; the complex process and sequence of conditions that allow water to be converted from vapour in the atmosphere to precipitation on land and back into vapour through evaporation and transpiration. This process has an impact on surface and soil moisture, ecology, vegetation, animal life, and sedimentation, making it crucial to our survival on earth.
Fallow land and areas where large scale tree removal has occurred are far more susceptible to soil erosion. Without vegetation, rain is either absorbed by the soil or runs off into streams as surface drainage. During storms and heavy rainfall, surface runoff becomes excessive and loose topsoil is eroded and washed away. When the topsoil or organic soil layer is eroded the mineral soil layer is exposed and once this happens, little or no vegetation will grow in the area to stabilize the bare earth and mudslides and rockslides become more common.
Planting on a Large Scale
In North America where the emerald ash borer is wreaking havoc and there are few treatment options, it has become more important than ever to plant new trees to replace those that have died or been removed. 50 MTP (50 Million Tree Program) is a Forests Ontario tree planting program that is supported by the Government of Canada. The goal of the project is to promote tree planting, increase forest education and stewardship, and raise awareness about the importance of forests. As of this year, Forests Ontario has planted more than 27 million trees and produced 15,000 hectares of new forest.
Be Global but Think Local
But before you rush out and plant as many trees as possible, remember that non-native plantations can cause problems for biodiversity, animal habitats, and local livelihoods so consult your arborist for advice.
Contact Martin’s Tree Service today for all your tree planting, tree removal, and maintenance needs.