Q:

What do we get from trees?

A:

Humans manufacture thousands of products from trees, in addition to cultivating fruits and nuts from the arboreal life forms, explains the Idaho Forest Products Commission. Byproducts of papermaking are used in chewing gum, asphalt, turpentine, paint and detergents. Cellulose fibers are raw materials for toilet seats, helmets, toothbrushes, dinnerware, nail polish and industrial explosives.

Silvichemicals are chemicals humans get from trees. These chemicals are found in many everyday products. After pulping wood, the byproducts make membranes for artificial kidneys, blankets, blouses, cellophane, ceramics, electrical insulation, insecticide spray, oil filters, rayon, tea bags, twine and vanillin.

Many products come from living trees. Fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, rubber, seeds, frankincense, maple syrup and tree oils are common products humans gather from trees that do not get cut down. Products from solid wood include planks for building houses, furniture, chests, shipping pallets, fences, pencils and flooring materials.

Trees also provide ecological benefits. These plants supply four tons of oxygen per one acre of forest per year and remove six tons of carbon dioxide over the same period. Deep roots of trees prevent water erosion. Shade canopies reduce the temperature of the ground during hot summers. Trees remove pollution and dust from the air before rain washes the particulates away. Animals, such as birds and squirrels, use trees for shelter, while larger animals, like elephants and giraffes, eat leaves as their main source of nourishment.


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