A Day for Trees? Thankfully, Yes!
Thanksgiving A Perfect Time To Honor Trees For The Products They Provide
LISLE, IL (November 6, 2009) - Love ice cream? Then love trees.
When Americans pause to acknowledge that which is important on Thanksgiving, they should give thanks for trees and the many, many products they provide.
"In all seasons, from all corners of the globe, trees supply us with a myriad of goods to enhance our lives, directly or indirectly," says Edith Makra, Arboretum arborist and Community Trees Advocate.
Wood chemicals and components are found in ice cream, salad dressing, shampoo, and toothpaste, just to name a few. Wood chemicals can also be found in cosmetics, photographic films, food additives, and fillers for many types of plastics, according to research by Rita Hassert, of the Arboretum's Sterling Morton Library.
Got a headache? Thanks to willow trees, we have the aspirin option.
Trees even help put clothes on our backs. Some types of plant cellulose (including from trees) are used to produce rayon and acetate. These materials are often sewn to make shirts, ties, dresses, and suits. Lyocell (also known as Tencel) is also made from wood pulp cellulose, and can be used to create fabric, Hassert says. Additionally, cellophane is derived in part from cellulose, and manufacturers often use cellulose gum to thicken and smooth foods and other items, she says.
Wood pulp makes paper products such as toilet tissue, envelopes, boxes, paper towels, napkins, newspapers and facial tissue, and books!
All sorts of sports equipment - such as baseball bats, cricket bats, tennis racquets, ping pong paddles, hockey sticks, oars, snowshoes, lacrosse sticks, billiard equipment sleds and skis - come from trees. And let's not forget musical instruments such as violins, violas, cellos, guitars, pianos, harpsichords and even bagpipes!
It can be said you almost can't make a pie without a tree, from cherry to apple to lemon, to peach, to pecan, and on it goes.
All these products are in addition to the remarkable benefits from trees. Studies show that trees filter the air, provide oxygen, shade, and shelter for us and animals, cut air conditioning and heating costs, add value to our homes, encourage sales in business districts, and much, much more.
So as Americans enjoy their turkey and trimmings this Thanksgiving, it makes perfect sense to give thanks for all of the products and benefits we get from trees.
And afterward, they can enjoy dessert: apple pie with a side of pistachio ice cream. Ah, what would we do without trees?
The Morton Arboretum is a world-renowned leader in tree science and education, working to save and plant trees. The 1,700-acre outdoor museum features magnificent collections of 4,117 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission - the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. Central Time until sunset. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through October, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., November through February. Visit Press Room at www.mortonarb.org, call to learn more.
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