TREES are one of man’s best friends. They breathe out oxygen which we breathe in and they breathe in carbon dioxide which we breathe out. They also take in enormous amounts of carbon dioxide which we put out into the environment through industrial and energy production. The shade of trees also cools us directly during hot seasons and can lower the cooling costs for our buildings when they are growing nearby. Trees also help to stabilize soil and hold water in the earth diminishing storm water runoff. We greatly help ourselves and the natural environment when we plant native trees.
- Energy efficiency: Because native plants are adapted to Florida soils, temperatures, and rainfall patterns, they require less irrigation and fertilization. This claim is true if several factors are present, specifically providing the right native with the right soil type and irrigation amount. Oftentimes in development, water flow patterns change as a result of native topsoil removal.
- Low maintenance:Native plants are resistant to pests, diseases and tropical storms in Florida, because they evolved under constant exposure to these organisms and conditions. Invasive plants may not have this resistance, providing an unwanted food source to pests and disease, unwanted debris after hurricanes, and competition with native plants for water and soil area.
- Education about Florida’s ecology: Florida’s increasing population should be more educated about the state’s natural resources and how these resources are preserved. This education can come from seeing native trees in parks, state and national parks, and forested areas and understanding how these trees interact with their environments and provide the clean air, water, and soil that Florida residents rely on.
Learn more: Please contact your local native plant group (e.g.: local chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society) and/or botanical garden to learn more about native trees to determine which native species are suitable for planting in your yard.