The last Sunday in July is Planet Ark’s National Tree Day – the largest annual tree planting and environmental event in Australia.
Everyone around the country is encouraged to get down and get dirty for a good cause and give back to the earth by planting new native trees and shrubs.
National Tree Day coincides with Schools Tree Day which occurs on the last Friday in July each year, where school communities around Australia are invited to join in.
So, what is the focus of National Tree Day and why is it important to plant trees? What are the benefits of trees for our environment?
The benefits of trees
Well, first, let’s look at how we can all benefit from planting trees – humans, animals AND the environment. Here’s just a few of the most important benefits of trees:
Trees combat climate change
Trees naturally absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) and other pollutant gases which build up in the atmosphere. The trees remove these pollutants from the air. Did you know that an acre of mature trees (approx. 4,000 sqm area) absorbs the same amount of carbon dioxide produced from driving a car 41,800 kms!
Trees provide Oxygen
Trees produce oxygen which we need to breath to survive! Did you know, a mature acre of trees (approx. 4,000 sqm) can provide enough yearly oxygen for up to 18 people? Let’s get planting!
Trees provide food
Of course they do! There’s nothing like picking an apple or an orange straight from the tree and tucking in. Trees provide so much of the food we eat every day. You don’t have to own a farm to enjoy the ‘fruit’ of your labours! Plant a fruit tree in your backyard – oranges, lemons, limes – delicious and handy!
Trees help prevent erosion
Trees and tree roots help to break the force of water and rain as it falls – reducing the impact to the soil of the water run off. Planting more trees, particularly in hilly areas help to prevent and reduce erosion.
Trees clean the air
Trees absorb gases and other pollutants in the air, through their leaves and bark. The trees act as a filter and help to purify the air.
Trees help conserve energy
Home owners can reap the benefits of trees being planted, as the shade helps to cool your home in summer, reducing the need to use air conditioning in summer. They can also act as a natural windbreak which in turn may help reduce heating costs in winter. Conserving energy and saving you money!
Take a look at this handy poster showing 10 benefits of trees.
National Tree Day in Port Macquarie – Get involved!
Schools Tree Day and National Tree Day are great ways to get the community together for a very important cause! It’s also a practical way to educate our children and the community on the benefits of planting trees for our environment.
There’s a few different community groups and organisations around the Port Macquarie-Hastings area that are supporting National Tree Day this year. We invite you to get out and join them and plant a tree in our local community and help our local environment.
- Landcare Port Macquarie – Port Macquarie Landcare Group will be giving away 3 plants per household as part of their weed replacement program. You’ll find them on the corner of Lord St and William St in Port Macquarie. More info on Landcare’s initiative here.
- Tree Day at Mrs York’s Garden – Join members of the community at Mrs York’s Garden on the corner of Stewart Street for planting, watering, mulching and weeding.
- Tree Giveaway at The Koala Hospital – The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has 25,000 Koala food trees to give away during 2019 – a National Tree Day initiative. The tree species include Swamp Mahogany, Tallowwood, Forest Red Gum, Grey Gum. Get in touch with the Koala Hospital to find out how you can support them.
- Schools Tree Day – Schools around Australia are invited to participate in Schools Tree Day on the last Friday of July each year. There are several local Port Macquarie-based schools getting involved this year. Check with your school to find out more.
Additional information resources and website links:
Planet Ark: https://treeday.planetark.org/
Tree People: https://www.treepeople.org/tree-benefits