Earth Day Is Around The Corner

Josh McGill Forestry, General

By Brad Buck

Earth DayWith Earth Day coming April 22, the Earth Day Network is emphasizing the importance of trees. So, too, are researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Environmental horticulture professor Ed Gilman says trees are critical in warm neighborhoods because they provide shade when it gets hot. To protect trees, Gilman recommends disseminating more reliable information about the benefits and costs of trees so communities and private landowners can make informed decisions about their trees. Michael Andreu, an associate professor and Extension specialist in the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation, said the canopy of a tree acts as a filter for pollutants. Trees also store carbon and provide oxygen. In addition to providing shade and thus cooler temperatures, trees help people relax, Andreu said. Furthermore, he said, school children who can see trees are less distracted.