Trees Have Long Been Important to Our Way of Life

By Dede Mulligan | Firewood
Feb. 222016

The trees around us have always been very important to the advancement of humankind. Did you know that forests cover about 31% of the global land area? It’s not a stretch to say that without trees, we would have a hard time existing on this beautiful planet. They are essential to life as we know it, providing oxygen, cleaning the soil and air, and providing shade on a hot summer day.  

At the beginning of human life, trees were considered sacred and honorable. Oaks were worshiped by European Druids, redwoods were a part of American Indian rituals, baobabs a part of African tribal life and for the Chinese, the ginkgo provided medicinal properties.

Today, we have more practical reasons to honor and admire trees. Trees provide us with so much more than oxygen and beauty. There are thousands upon thousands of things that can be made from trees like paper, lumber and firewood, to more creative things like carpet, bowling alley lanes and golf balls.

Here are the trees native to the New York and Connecticut area:

10 Most Common Trees in Connecticut

Connecticut is a heavily forested state. Though the state is small in land area – around 3.4 million acres – it is close to 60% covered by forests. The state ranks 13th on the list of percent of total forest coverage, but is first on the list of the percentage of urban lands covered by trees. The top 10 kinds of trees are based on a minimum stem diameter of 1 inch at breast height.

  1. Red Maple – 27%
  2. Black Birch – 10%
  3. Eastern Hemlock – 6%
  4. Sugar Maple – 6%
  5. Northern Red Oak – 6%
  6. Beech – 5%
  7. Eastern White Pine – 4%
  8. Black Cherry – 3%
  9. Yellow Birch – 3%
  10. Pignut Hickory – 3%

10 Most Common Trees in New York

Though New York is known for being home to the City that Never Sleeps, it is also one of the most forested states. Right next to Connecticut, New York is 63% covered by trees with 18.9 million acres covering the 30 million acre state. New York ranks 17th on the list of percent of total forest coverage. Here are the top 10 trees that line the streets of New York City.

  1. London planetree – 15%
  2. Norway Maple – 14%
  3. Callery Pear – 11%
  4. Honeylocust – 9%
  5. Pine Oak – 7%
  6. Littleleaf Linden – 5%
  7. Green Ash – 4%
  8. Red Maple – 3%
  9. Silver Maple – 3%
  10. Ginkgo – 3%

These totals were counted from a survey of 590,000 trees in the city. The census takers identified 168 different species of trees, and the top ten make up 74% of the tree population.

Looking to identify trees in your area? Check out the Arbor Day website. There, you can identify trees, purchase pocket-sized tree identification manuals or download a handy app to help you learn the trees in your area.

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