55 Fascinating Facts About Trees for Kids

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Tree Facts Feature

Trees are the longest-living organisms on Earth, and they have centuries worth of fun facts. There are so many cool facts about trees that many kids (and adults!) don’t know. Your students will be blown away by these botanical wonders. Check out our favorite facts about trees below.

Fun Facts About Trees for Kids

Trees can help reduce stress.

Trees can help reduce stress.- Facts About Trees

Being around trees is good for our mental health and social well-being.

Trees help to improve water quality.

Trees help to improve water quality.

Trees actually soak up and filter our rainwater, releasing it into our streams and rivers. They are like Earth’s sponges!

Tree rings can predict climate change.

Tree rings can predict climate change.

A tree’s rings reveal its age, but they can also tell when natural disasters have occurred. The rings can be thick or thin depending on how many resources are available in the ecosystem, which can tell us about how the climate has changed over the years.

Trees never die of old age.

Trees never die of old age.- Facts About Trees

Unlike most other living organisms, trees deteriorate, but they don’t exactly die when they get old. There are trees in California that are 5,000 years old!

There are over 60,000 known tree species.

There are over 60,000 known tree species.
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Of the more than 60,000 tree species, many are at risk of becoming extinct. Scientists are at work identifying which species need immediate attention.

The first known tree was found in New York.

The first known tree was found in New York.

This fernlike plant was called the Wattieza. These now-extinct trees stood 26 feet tall and formed the first forests.

One tree is equal to two central air conditioners.

One tree is equal to two central air conditioners.- Facts About Trees

Trees help to regulate air temperature, which means we don’t need as many carbon emissions.

45% of all tree species are members of just 10 families.

45% of all tree species are members of just 10 families.

A few of the families are called Leguminosae (legumes), Myrtaceae (myrtle), and Malvaceae (mallows). Try saying that five times fast!

Trees can help direct us.

Trees can help direct us.

The branches of a tree show us where we are, much like a compass. For example, branches that point horizontal to the ground are pointing south.

The leaves on a tree absorb sunlight.

The leaves on a tree absorb sunlight.- Facts About Trees

This process is called photosynthesis and helps keep the tree nourished and healthy.

Brazil has the most species of trees.

Brazil has the most species of trees.

There are over 9,000 species of trees in Brazil.

The tallest tree on Earth is the California redwood.

The tallest tree on Earth is the California redwood.

Redwoods can grow to over 300 feet tall!

Trees help fight erosion.

Trees help fight erosion.- Facts About Trees

Their leaf canopies reduce erosion caused by rainwater. Their roots also help to hold soil in place, which also helps fight erosion.

Some trees have been to the moon.

Some trees have been to the moon.

The Apollo 14 mission in 1971 took seeds to the moon to see if they would grow differently there. To everyone’s surprise, the trees grew the same way as they do on Earth.

A large oak tree can drop up to 10,000 acorns a year.

A large oak tree can drop up to 10,000 acorns a year.

After the tree drops those 10,000 acorns, they are buried by squirrels and birds for them to eat in the future.

Weeping willow bark has a compound similar to pain-relieving medication.

Weeping willow bark has a compound similar to pain-relieving medication.- Facts About Trees

When male deer grow new antlers, they look for weeping willows to help them with the itchiness of the process because the weeping willow bark has a compound that works similarly to aspirin.

When insects attack a tree, the tree fights back.

When insects attack a tree, the tree fights back.

Trees can produce a chemical called phenolics, which keeps those pesky pests away. This helps them protect themselves.

Cherry blossom petals are edible.

Cherry blossom petals are edible.

Commonly found in Japan, the cherry blossom trees produce a petal that is often used in teas and desserts.

Trees and fungi have a symbiotic relationship.

Trees and fungi have a symbiotic relationship.- Facts About Trees

Fungi reside on the roots of the tree, which helps the tree absorb more nutrients and water from the soil. The trees then help the fungi by providing sugars they absorbed from photosynthesis.

Dead trees serve an important purpose.

Dead trees serve an important purpose.

Believe it or not, dead trees play an important role in the ecosystem. The dead wood creates a source of nitrogen and microhabitats for wildlife. This includes insects, birds, and mosses.

Oak trees are sacred in many cultures.

Oak trees are sacred in many cultures - tree facts

People regard the oak as the sacred tree of Zeus in Greek mythology.

There are 400 billion trees in the Amazon rainforest.

There are 400 billion trees in the Amazon rainforest.

The Amazon is home to more than 400 billion trees in 6.7 million square kilometers. All those trees influence the rain cycles in the Amazon by releasing 20 billion tons of water into the air each day.

Trees didn’t exist for the first 90% of Earth’s history.

Trees didn't exist for the first 90% of Earth's history.- Facts About Trees

Although Earth is 4.5 billion years old, trees weren’t around for much of its history. Also for much of history, plants only grew a few feet off the ground.

Deforestation kills 15 billion trees each year.

Deforestation kills 15 billion trees each year.

Deforestation is the act of cutting down and clearing forested land.

The dynamite tree has fruit that explodes when it’s ripe.

The dynamite tree has fruit that explodes when it's ripe.- Facts About Trees

These fascinating trees also have spikes and toxic sap. People sometimes refer to this tree as monkey no-climb and the sandbox tree.

Eucalyptus trees are koalas’ main source of food.

Eucalyptus trees are koalas' main source of food.

There are over 900 species of eucalyptus trees in Australia.

Apple trees don’t produce their fruit for four to five years.

Apple trees don't produce their fruit for four to five years.- Facts About Trees

The apple tree originated in Southeast Asia.

Trees cut down noise pollution.

Trees cut down noise pollution.

They can intercept sound waves and change their behavior based on the sound. Also, trees typically absorb more high-frequency sounds than low frequency.

4 billion trees are cut down each year to turn into paper.

Another reason to go paper-less, 4 to 8 billion trees are cut down each year to turn into paper.

Trees can communicate with each other.

Trees can let other trees know there is danger, like a pest attacking one tree, so they can start their own defense. For example, willow trees emit chemicals when being attacked by webworms. The Wood Wide Web is an underground fungal network that connects trees and plants. This is how the plants communicate and exchange nutrients.

Trees help reduce climate change.

A mature tree absorbs more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide, stores the carbon, and releases oxygen. In Chicago alone, trees remove more than 18,000 tons of air pollution each year.

You can use trees like a compass.

Moss grows on the northern side of a tree in the northern hemisphere, and on the southern side of trees in the southern hemisphere.

Trees grow from the top.

Cells at the ends of trees called meristems grow taller, so branches stay the same height and a birdhouse will stay in the same place even as the tree grows.

Different parts of a tree grow at different times.

Trees grow foliage during the spring, tree trunks grow in summer, and roots grow in fall and winter.  

The smallest tree is 6 cm tall.

The dwarf willow is the smallest tree. It lives in cold, high places and some debate whether it’s a tree at all.

One tree species has rainbow bark.

The rainbow eucalyptus in southeast Asia and Papua New Guinea has smooth orange bark that sheds unevenly, leaving rainbow strips of red, orange, yellow, blue, and purple.

It takes 7 to 8 trees to provide enough oxygen for one person.

Each year, it would take 7 to 8 mature trees to provide enough oxygen for one person for one year. Good thing trees produce more oxygen than they use.

Most trees live in only one area.

Fifty-eight percent of trees are single-country endemics, or they exist in one area. This means they are threatened by deforestation because they only have one habitat.

The Wollemi pine was around when dinosaurs were on earth.

Wollemi or dinosaur trees are in Australia and thought to date back to the Jurassic period.

A fig tree in South Africa has roots that are 400 meters deep.

This tree in Echo Caves, South Africa has roots that are deeper than the Eiffel Tower is high.

The Survivor Tree survived September 11.

A Callery pear tree survived the attacks on 9/11. It was damaged during the attacks and nursed to health in a nursery. You can see it at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

Forests cover one-third of the Earth’s surface.

That’s more than 15 million square miles of trees.

It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup.

40 gallons of sap have to be collected to make just one gallon of maple syrup.

There is a tree that can look like it’s bleeding.

The Dragon Blood tree releases red sap that hardens into resin if it is injured, which makes it look like it’s bleeding.

Dead trees are an important part of the forest.

In the Pacific Northwest, for example, standing dead trees or logs provide housing or resources for 40% of forest species.

Washington DC’s cherry trees were a gift from Japan.

In 1912, the people of Japan gifted cherry blossom trees to the people of America. Now, the annual Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the friendship between Japan and the U.S.

Trees grow thicker bark in warm areas.

Trees that grow in warmer and more fire-prone areas grow thicker bark.

General Sherman is the largest tree by volume.

General Sherman is a giant sequoia that’s 275 feet tall with 52,000 cubic feet of wood.

Trees can create a real cooling effect.

Trees create shad that is 20 to 45 degrees cooler than surfaces in direct sun.

The manchineel tree is toxic.

It grows in tropical regions of the Americas and produces a white sap that can burn skin, sting eyes, and strip paint from cars. It was called the “little apple of death” because eating its fruit could cause stomach bleeding and shock.

The Pando aspen grove is the world’s oldest living organism.

A group of quaking aspen trees called Pando is connected by a root network. It was formed 80,000 years ago and weighs over 6,600 tons.

It takes 30 seconds to walk around the world’s stoutest tree.

In Oaxaca, Mexico, the Tree of Tule has a circumference of 42 meters, or 105 men standing shoulder-to-shoulder.

There is a debate over which tree is the oldest.

There is debate about whether Methuselah, a bristlecone pine in California (4,853 years old) or the Alerce Milenario or Gran Abuelo (great grandfather in Spanish) a Patagonian cypress is the oldest tree. Gran Abuelo is thought to be about 500 years older than Methuselah, but the methods of capturing the age is up for debate.

Seeing trees helps people heal faster.

People who saw a tree outside their hospital window spent 8 fewer days in the hospital compared to people who didn’t have a view of trees.

There is no such thing as a tree species having deep or shallow root systems.

Each tree will develop its roots depending on where it is planted.

Do you have a tree fact that wasn’t included here? Share in the comments below!

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