Trees are really remarkable organisms. The more we learn about trees, the more amazing they seem. A colony of Quaking Aspen trees in Utah is considered to be the largest, heaviest, and oldest organism in existence. Trees can live longer than any other organism; some of them are thousands of years old. Trees bring a lot of benefits to the world they inhabit. For example, a single oak tree can be home to 284 different species of insects. Trees can soak up carbon and create life-giving oxygen, meaning the more trees in an environment, the healthier an environment is.
For humans, trees provide a wide array of measurable benefits as well. We use them to grow food, to build houses, and for shelter. You can enjoy a tree at any age, using it as a place to play as a child and as a privacy shield for your home when you are older.
Studies have been done on the benefits of trees for homeowners; a tree on your property increases the value of your home as well as giving you shade during summer and protecting you from the heavy winter winds. They can attract all sorts of wildlife onto your property; beautiful birds and helpful bugs such as ladybugs and honeybees will come around when you plant a few trees on your property.
Planting a tree on your property is one of the best things you can do to ensure your family’s well-being, as well as improving the aesthetic appeal (and thus value) of your home.
When you decide to plant a tree, you will want to contact the services of an arborist. They can do the planting for you, if you wish, as well as checking regularly on the tree to make sure that it is healthy. You will need a professional with a strong knowledge of trees and their needs. They can answer questions as to a tree’s nutritional needs, what type of soil it requires, and how much sunlight or shade it should be getting. Most of these answers have been well studied and arborists have been able to answer them for years.
There is one question regarding a tree’s needs that went unanswered for many years, however. Do trees sleep?
After a long, hard day of work sometimes all you want to do is get into bed and drift off to sleep. You need sleep to recharge for the demands of the next day, after all. And the fact is that the majority of living organisms have some sort of sleep schedule.
Some animals sleep for nearly the whole day; others can make do with as little as an hour. Certain animals, such as dolphins, can sleep and swim at the same time by only shutting down half of their brains. But what about trees? Do they sleep at night?
The answer might surprise you: according to a study done at the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute, trees do indeed go to sleep! This type of sleep is different from the dormancy that trees and other plants experience during the wintertime. Once the sun goes down, it seems that trees need to get some rest too.
The study was conducted on two silver birch trees, one of which was found in Finland while the other was found in Austria. The scientists conducting the study used small infrared lasers to map certain parts of the tree for a fraction of a second at a time.
Fairly quickly, the scientists discovered that the leaves and branches would sag at nighttime, only to ‘wake up’ again in the early morning. While only two specific trees were studied, we do know a little bit about this phenomenon in other plants. For example, the reason flowers close at night and open during the day is a process known as nyctinasty, a function of their circadian rhythm. The sunlight wakes up flowers in the morning and, once the sun goes down, they go to sleep at night.
While the scientists that conducted the study on the birch trees weren’t sure if it was the sunlight that was causing the trees to go to sleep and wake up, or if it was part of their natural internal clocks, they seemed to be waking up a little before the sun came up. This would imply that they have some kind of natural way of knowing when to wake up without the sunlight. Whatever the case may be, this seems to be connected to the trees’ individual water needs.
When it comes to trees, water is the most crucial thing to survival. Perhaps a tree’s need to rest at night has something to do with their water demands. Further studies are needed, but it seems like trees are much more complicated than we first realized they were.
If, after reading this, you are considering planting a tree on your property, you should contact your local arborist. In the Vancouver area, Mr. Tree is the perfect option. Professional arborists, or tree surgeons, can offer you help in selecting what type of tree will survive best on your property. They can also advise you on your individual wishes; for example, if you want a fruit tree, they can help with that. If you want a tree for shade, they can help with that too. Whatever your requirements, Mr. Tree can help to meet them.
A professional arborist can also check occasionally on your trees to ensure they are healthy. Just like a person needs occasional check-ups at the doctor, and a pet needs to periodically see the vet, a tree needs to be checked for health every once in awhile.
An arborist will look for signs of pest infestation, and make sure the conditions are ideal for your tree to thrive. If there are any problems, an arborist can address them. You should also make sure it is a professional doing it if your tree needs any pruning, too.
With the help of a tree service professional, you can make sure your tree is getting plenty of food, water, and sleep!