In Praise of Trees

In Praise of Trees

Have you ever sought relief from a sudden rainstorm under a big leafy tree? Or taken a walk in the forest and noticed how exhilarated you felt? Have you ever lain down in the grass under a green canopy of trees and felt soothed?

If you have, then you know the magic of trees.

Trees are a living gift from Mother Nature serving us from childhood through old age.

In every culture and every part of the world, children climb, swing, and play on trees.

Trees help us breathe by purifying our air, absorbing pollutants, and producing oxygen. They protect us from scorching summer sun, harsh winds, and rain.  Their leaves fall to the ground and enrich the soil, while their roots prevent soil erosion. Wood from trees provides us with materials for housing, shelter, heat, and paper.

Their fruits keep us healthy and strong. Oranges, apples, pears, mangos, almonds, avocados, olives, and all kinds of exotic treats come from trees. Maple syrup, one of the most heavenly sweeteners, is a product from the sap of maple trees.

Trees house our animal friends like birds and squirrels, offering their leaves and branches as a hiding place from predators. Their leaves are food for koalas, elephants, and giraffes. Their flowers and nectar feed monkeys, birds, bats, and all kinds of insects.

Trees offer us so much, even something money can’t buy—wellness. A recent study by Omid Kardan, a psychologist from the University of Chicago, shows the relationship between trees and health. Taking age and income into factor, the study shows that living on a street with plenty of trees encourages physical activity, better cardiovascular health, less stress and lower blood pressure, and helps us naturally live longer.

Listen to Wai Lana’s children’s song ‘Let Me Be Like a Tree’:
(We heard that this is one of Wai Lana’s favorite songs and that she said it’s not meant only for kids.)

‘Let Me Be Like a Tree Activity Book’ is also available for children ages 2 – 6:

And ‘Let Me Be Like a Tree Activity Book 2’ for children ages 5 – 10:

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