Celebrated on April 26th
Trees are able to communicate and defend themselves against attacking insects. Scientists have found that trees can flood their leaves with chemicals called phenolics when the insects begin their raid. They can also signal danger to other trees so they can start their own defense. Just like humans, trees need water to survive--and they drink a lot of it. In a single day, a large tree can consume 100 gallons of water out of the ground and discharge it into the air as oxygen and water vapor. Keep in mind that many conditions play a role such as the size of the tree, species of the tree, humidity, temperatures, sun exposure, etc.
A large oak tree can drop 10,000 acorns in one year. The nuts of oak trees are hugely popular with wildlife. In the U.S., acorns represent a major food source for more than 100 vertebrate species, and all that attention means most acorns never get to germinate. But oak trees have boom and bust cycles, possibly as an adaptation to help them outfox the acorn-eating animals.
The biggest tree is a giant sequoia in California’s Redwood Forest. It measures some 30 stories tall and 82’ in circumference. California holds the record for the oldest living trees, too. Some of the state’s bristlecone pines and giant sequoias are thought to be 4,000-5,000 years old. Have you ever knocked on wood for good luck? That superstition may have originated with primitive peoples who believed benevolent spirits lived in the trees.