Every year, we see the green of our trees’ leaves retreat into their branches, leaving a slew of colors, signaling the arrival of autumn.
Trees and woody-stemmed plants come in all forms, shapes and sizes, with each having its own unique features. They present a beautiful mosaic in our forests as the season’s change and they mature. Aside from the aesthetic value we gain through these woody plants’ life cycles, they provide a much larger benefit to society.
There are many ecosystem services provided by the nutritional cycle and growth of trees. These ecosystem services can range from maple syrup harvested in the spring to pour over your warm pancakes in the fall to shade over a park bench on a hot summer day.
These are luxuries to have throughout our life, but the nutrients transported and seasonal growth plays bigger roles in society’s well-being. Carbon sequestration and precipitation interception are two of the most crucial roles of tree yearly growth.
These processes act as nature’s filter to provide us clean water to drink and air to breathe. It is important to not take these forests and their functions for granted, and through good stewards, we can even manage them to be more productive and beneficial to our daily lives.
Sustainable forest management and conservation can be the key to the most productive forests, respectively. These will be large factors in the future for our nation’s forests and private lands.