Planting trees to help the environment is already a worthwhile endeavor in itself.
By taking part in this environmental responsibility, we contribute to a good cause of making the world better. Tree planting, albeit one of the most commonplace environmental activities, is an excellent avenue for us to become good ecological stewards. Similarly, the activity is instrumental in the green advocacy and staunch commitment to shaping a greener, healthier and better Earth. With small but concerted efforts, we can make a significant difference.
Trees provide a myriad of benefits for people and animals in various ways that fall into several different categories: ecological, economic, and social. However, native species of trees afford us benefits that are far and beyond their non-native counterparts.
Every country and place has a set of particular plant specimens that are indigenous to their geographic location. These are known as native trees or plants. Native trees are trees that have not been introduced by man into the environment and occur naturally. These are the ideal trees in providing food and shelter for wildlife and manufacturing oxygen for both humans and animals as well.
Typically, indigenous trees and plants survive longer than their non-indigenous counterparts as they are more resilient and disease resistant. Moreover, they have adapted to their surroundings and environment, which ensures their survival. Some of the most common native trees in the Philippines are Katmon, Molave, Bani, Ilang-Ilang, Banaba, Malabulak, Dapdap, Salingbobog, and Narra.
Planting local trees enables us to help the local wildlife live and thrive. Local animals have looked to native trees and plants for years whenever they are in need of food and shelter. The diminishing number of these trees has contributed to the decline of their populations, making planting this type of tree paramount. Apart from helping our local systems, below are just some compelling reasons why we should start planting more native trees.
Native trees are cheaper to maintain than exotic or non-native plants and trees. Once a native tree is in place, it does not need as much meticulous care as its non-native counterparts because of its natural components. In fact, native trees can survive on rainfall alone and are incredibly resilient and self-supporting in today’s challenging and ever-changing climates. They might need occasional watering during the first year of planting them if rainfall is scarce. After that, however, these plants and trees can survive on just rain alone.
A compelling reason why we should plant native trees is that they offer great value by adding beauty to our gardens or environment. More importantly, indigenous plants and trees produce colorful fruits and seeds in abundance making our front yards even more attractive.
As native plants have evolved over thousands of years, they have a better survival rate than their non-native counterparts. Owing to years of acclimation to the environment, native plants thrive and grow in harmony with the environment, soil, water supply, and varying weather conditions. These plants and trees can handle harsh heat from the sun or even buffeting winds. They also form part of a larger natural ecosystem. In this regard, plants or trees native to an area are more likely to establish quickly and naturally be hardy and healthy.
While all plants and trees are environmentally friendly, native plants are especially so considering that they require less watering, fertilizer, and pesticides. Moreover, they improve air quality and can help decrease pollution. This is because native plants eliminated the need for mowers and other equipment. Similarly, native plants do not need vast amounts of fertilizers and pesticides that exotic plants seemingly need for survival and growth. The excess phosphorus and nitrogen, both of which are the main ingredients found in fertilizers, can run off into waterways and cause an excess in algae growth. As a result, our waters will have reduced oxygen content, not to mention that it can be harmful to aquatic life as well. Native plants do not have an exigent need for fertilizers and chemical pesticides. By opting to plant them in lieu of their non-native counterparts, we are contributing to a healthier environment.
Ensuring that remnant native vegetation is protected is pivotal to preserving biodiversity. Places with good biodiversity promote healthy ecosystems that purify the air, clean the water, regulate the climate, maintain healthy soil and provide us with abundant food and resources. Unfortunately, native vegetation is often removed and replaced with exotic plant species when land development occurs. As a result, species diversity is reduced. To address this, we can establish our own native garden and contribute to preserving biodiversity. By planting local native species in our garden, we can do our part in improving biodiversity.
As listed above, native plants are shown to benefit wildlife and the environment. Considering that they do not need much maintenance and care, we can spend less time in the garden tending to them while still reaping the rewards of a beautiful green space. Native plants do not require fertilizers or pesticides to support themselves either, which means their maintenance does not require as many costs to outlay. In this regard, planting native plants can save us time and money.
From what is said above, we now have learned a thing or two about native trees and plants and the respective benefits they bring us and our surroundings. That said, we should make it a point to join or be in solidarity with local organizations that strive for greener earth by planting native plant and tree species. One To Tree is one such organization. Born out of the goal to slow down the effects of harmful environmental practices, One to Tree endeavors to revive biodiversity in the Philippines—one native tree at a time. Composed of a group of dedicated individuals who advocate for a greener earth, One to Tree partners with businesses and communities who support their goals in growing native trees for a more sustainable future.
So, join One to Tree’s movement and plant a native tree today. Not only will you be doing the environment a huge favor, but you also owe it to yourself and the future generation to do so.