Tree Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Tree’s are all around us, but there are probably a lot of things you didn’t know. Test your tree knowledge and impress your friends with these terrific tree facts.

You can use a tree as a compass.

In northern climates, moss will grow on the north side of the tree trunk, where it is shadier. If you come across a tree which has been cut down you can observe the rings to discover which direction north is. In the northern hemisphere, the rings of growth in a tree trunk are slightly thicker on the southern side, which receives more light.

Trees help lower carbon dioxide levels

One 30-meter-tall mature tree can absorb as much as 22.7 kilograms (50 pounds) of carbon dioxide a year, over the average lifetime of that tree it can absorb approximately the same amount as would be produced by an average car being driven 25,787 miles!

Without trees, there would be no wildlife

Trees are vital to wildlife, the common English Oak, for example, can support hundreds of different species, including 284 species of insect and 324 species of lichen living directly on the tree. The acorns from oak trees are food for dozens of species, including pigeons, pheasants, ducks, squirrels, mice, badgers, and deer.

There are poisonous trees out there

The most dangerous tree according to the official Guinness World Record, is held by the Manchineel tree from the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. It’s bark is covered in sap that causes the skin to blister and can even blind a person if it gets into their eyes. Even standing under the tree in the rain can cause blisters when the sap drips onto the skin.

Some trees can talk to each other

Certain types of trees can talk to each other, warning one another when they’re being attacked by insects, scientists have found that the trees can emit a chemical from their leaves which not only reduces the nutritional value of the leaves for the insects but also to warn neighbouring trees. Following the warning, nearby trees will begin to produce the same chemical reaction to defend itself.l

Seven Non-native trees to Britain

There are many different species of tree in Britain, but did you know only a few are native. The most common trees below are non-native, yet they are the most seen in cities across the UK. How many do you know?

Here are a few to get you started:

  1. Beech
  2. Horse chestnut
  3. Cedar
  4. Sweet chestnut
  5. Red oak
  6. Sycamore
  7. Walnut