Driving through Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows the other day, I was shocked and heartbroken to see so many dead or dying trees, many of them newly planted in the last year or two.
The majority were just outside private properties, between the fence and the sidewalk.
Some even had watering bags on them, without a drop of water inside the bags.
Given the high heat of the past few weeks without any rain, it isn’t surprising the trees are so stressed and that many are dying or already dead. But the situation isn’t hopeless; there is something we can do to change it.
More than ever before, we need trees and plants to cool things down and curb the current environmental crisis.
Without them, it will only get hotter and drier.
Did you know that a single tree cleans and purifies 100,000 m2 of polluted air each year, creates 700 kg. of oxygen, and absorbs 20 tons of carbon dioxide? Much of the oxygen in the air we breathe is produced by trees and plants – without them, we wouldn’t be able to breathe at all.
And scientists now have evidence that trees make rain, that by growing more vegetation, we get more rain!
On average, 40 per cent or more of the precipitation over land originates from evaporation and the transpiration of water from plants and trees (to find out more, see www.learningfromnature.com).
This also means that, by letting trees and vegetation die, or by cutting them down, we are reducing the amount of rain we receive.
It is the trees that are keeping us here, and everything else that is natural and alive.
If you care about all the beauty we have around us here in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, the birds and animals, bees and butterflies, mountains, forests, and water, or even if your only concern is your own future and that of your children or grandchildren, there is something simple but significant thing you can do to help.
Bring out a hose or bucket and water the trees and bushes around you, whether they are inside or outside your fence/s.
Even if you live in a condo or townhouse where there are sprinkling systems and workers maintaining the grounds, the trees next to the street may not be receiving any water.
Take a look and see – if they are bone-dry, they need your help. Giving them a good soaking twice or more per week can ease their stress and save their lives.
By saving even a single tree, you are helping to save insects, birds, and other animals who depend on it.
There is nothing in nature that is separate from anything else. Offering a drink to just one thirsty tree, bush, or plant means you are helping life continue. And that is a beautiful, wondrous thing.
Thanks so much for listening, and for helping in whatever way(s) you can.
Rose Padeft, Maple Ridge – local teacher and artist
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