Today is all about jokes and surprises. And instead of jokes, we’re going with surprises about trees, of course. Here are 7 fun tree facts that may surprise you and anyone you feel like sharing them with!
1. THEY PRODUCE A LOT OF OXYGEN
Seriously, a lot. A single 50-foot tree produces enough oxygen to support one person for a year.
2. THEY GET REALLY OLD
The 105-acre colony of Quaking Aspen trees in the Fishlake National Forest north of Bryce Canyon National Park in central Utah is 80,000 years old. Above ground, the trees look like separate trunks, but they're joined at the roots and are genetically identical.
3. MANY DRUGS ARE MADE FROM TREES
Aspirin was originally developed from willow bark. Some chemotherapy drugs are made from yew clippings and Hesperidin, most often used for blood vessel conditions, comes from citrus trees. Interested in more medicines that come from plants? Check out this list.
4. THE INTERNET IS FIGHTING TREE DISEASE
In our last blog post we shared some top nature apps, but there are awesome websites saving nature, too. AshTag is a website where people photograph and report the location of a diseased Ash tree in London.
5. STRESS MAKES TREES STRONGER
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? That saying is completely true for trees; a thick patch of wood, called compression wood or stress wood, develops on the trunks or on the undersides of branches in reaction to wind, gravity and direction of the sun to prevent excessive bending or cracking. Without this bolster, trees would grow more quickly, but couldn't withstand the forces of Mother Nature.
6. THERE IS A “WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS TREE”
The Manchineel tree (pictured above) from the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico holds the official Guinness World Record for “World’s Most Dangerous Tree.” The bark is covered in sap that causes skin to blister and can blind a person if it gets in their eyes and the tree’s fruit is slightly sweet but very painful to eat. Ulceration of the mouth and esophagus will occur from just a small bite and consumption can be lethal. And there is more! Smoke from burning Manchineel wood can cause blindness.
7. TREES GET POACHED
Yes, like rare animals. Why? Because wood is big money. A report from 1996 showed that $1 million worth of lumber was stolen each month in Washington State alone and it is a huge problem in US National Parks.
We hope you have a fun and safe April Fool’s Day and if you want to help us surprise people today, share your favorite tree fact on our Facebook page!