One day you’ll teach baby all about the birds and the bees, but what about the trees? Trees are often taken for granted because of their long-lasting, looming presence. But if you teach baby from the very beginning about the importance of these peaceful giants, they can adopt a few sturdy attributes of their own. A baby girl, boy, or gender-neutral name meaning “tree” will help baby identify with the power in a calm, steady presence.
What are some fun facts about trees?
The facts about trees are almost only fun facts! These leafy beauties have been around for centuries and, in some cases, millennia! As the longest-living organisms on Earth, trees don’t die of old age. Due to human or other biological interference, the average lifespan is approximately 600 years. But in their time on this planet, trees do even more than consume carbon dioxide and produce oxygen (of which they each produce around 260 pounds of oxygen each year!); they passively reduce stress in multiple ways. Studies have shown that trees and forests reduce blood pressure and anxiety and increase pain threshold. There is also a common phenomenon in forestry called “sound attenuation,” which is the reduction of noise through the absorption or deflection of sound waves due to leaves, twigs, branches, shrubs, and herbaceous growth.
How many different kinds of trees are there?
Imagine a wild number of tree species and add on a few thousand more; you’re likely close to the current estimate! Thanks to Brazil, Colombia, and Indonesia, 8,715, 5,776, and 5,142 species, respectively, can call these countries home. However, there are far, far more than just approximately 20,000 species of trees in the world. Try 60,000! With the rich biodiversity of Brazil, it has the most diverse collection of tree species in the world—hello, Amazon Rainforest!
How old is the oldest living tree?
Considering the long life trees can, and often do, have, it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that there are trees known to last millennia! However, conceptualizing that length of time is admittedly hard to do. So when you consider the tree known as Methuselah—and its unnamed, older forest neighbor—is approximately 4,853 years old, it might be easier to consider what history was happening at the time this ancient tree was just a sprout. This little seedling took root at the end of the Stone Age and before the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids at Giza. Methuselah can be found in the White Mountains of California in Inyo National Forest. It is a Great Basin bristlecone pine, and the species is evidently a hardy bunch, given the other tree in that forest is of the same ilk and is potentially over 5,000 years old.