How do trees filter the air we breathe?
Trees clean the air and improve our air quality. They exhale the oxygen we need to breathe while absorbing carbon dioxide and other pollutants essential to our health and quality of life. Trees create oxygen by continually absorbing carbon dioxide and giving off oxygen as a by-product when producing the carbohydrates they require to grow. Trees reduce air pollution when introduced into heavily populated areas where they help absorb the pollutants created by exhaust and industry including ground level ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. Trees also absorb tiny pollutants that land on their leaves and bark where they are pulled into the tree and converted into non-harmful compounds. The large forests of Canada are like air purifiers working nonstop to support life and give off water vapour that forms into clouds. It’s no wonder forests, especially rain forests are often called the lungs of the earth. BC is home to the Great Bear Rainforest where some of the oldest and largest trees on earth grow, including Sitka spruce, Douglas fir and Western Red Cedar. These trees can grow 70 metres tall and live for hundreds of years. Rainforests are responsible for producing about one-third of the world’s oxygen.