All hail the mighty tree! And let’s give a tip of the hat to Julius Sterling Morton, too. After all, today is Arbor Day and Julius is the fellow who started the whole thing.

You’ve heard of the Tree of Knowledge? Well, here’s some interesting knowledge about trees:

  • Nearly 1/3 of the United States is covered in forests
  • Far out! In 2009 the space shuttle Atlantis delivered willow saplings to the International Space Station so that experiments could be conducted to see how gravity (or lack thereof) affects the growth of wood.
  • Tree rings can give us all kinds of clues about environmental events including happenings like volcanic eruptions.
  • Researchers have found that some kinds of trees “warn” others: particular types of willows & poplars, when under attack by insects, produce of certain chemicals in their leaves. Not only to these chemicals reduce the nutritional content of their leaves, they also seem to warn surrounding trees of the imminent danger, causing surrounding trees to produce those same chemicals in defense.
  • One tree can absorb as much carbon in a year as a car produces while driving 26,000 miles