My Green Two Cents

Eco-enthusiast Tanya Roberts blogs about green trends, issues and her favourite sustainable products.

For the love of trees

September 26 is National Tree Day: how will you celebrate?

We owe our lives to trees. Our fantastic forests purify the air, manage nutrients, capture greenhouse gases, cool the planet, house many of the world’s plant and animal species, provide jobs to over a billion people and much, much more. And yet, forests are critically threatened.

But I’m hopeful we can change that. We can start by celebrating National Tree Day on September 26. And there’s much to celebrate, indeed. Here are a few facts I found interesting from Landscape Ontario and Tree Canada:

  • An acre of trees produces enough breathing oxygen for 18 people every day
  • An acre of trees absorbs enough carbon monoxide over a year to equal the amount you produce when you drive your car 26,000 miles
  • A single mature tree can absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support two human beings
  • Over 50 years, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion
  • Each healthy tree can reduce air borne dust particles by as much as 7000 particles per litre of air
  • The Canadian forest products industry is responsible for more than 600,000 jobs with annual revenues representing roughly 2 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

I did some background research and found out this is only the second year that Canada finally has its own official day to celebrate trees. A little history—on September 22, 2010, a day during National Forest Week was declared to be celebrated each year as “Maple Leaf Day.” A few months later, National Tree Day was officially created through a private members motion in the House of Commons. The motion to declare National Tree Day was presented by Royal Galipeau, M.P, at the urging of Tree Canada, and received consent from the House of Commons on March 2, 2011. As a result, the Wednesday of National Forest Week each year in September will now be known as National Tree Day. Great work, fellow Canadians!

How will you celebrate and raise awareness about our beautiful and important trees? Check out the get tree motional contest for a chance to win a 2012 Nissan Leaf SL or 1 of 16 secondary prizes. Or, think about organizing a guided tree tour in a nearby conservation area with a certified Arborist. The International Society of Aboriculture (ISA) is a great resource. For a list of events happening in Ontario, check out Tree Canada’s website.