Fruitful trees and cedars encompass all types of trees, deciduous (hardwood) and coniferous (evergreen). There are 60,000 varieties of trees, and they were made for man’s benefit by the caring Creator. They are essential to life. Trees provide oxygen, clean air, climate regulation, shade, soil retention and flood control, healthy soil, water filtration, creature habitat, food for man, and thousands of products, including medical. They are beautiful, calming, and aid in good mental health. “A view of trees can help hospital patients recover faster by reducing diastolic blood pressure and stress. In fact, studies have found that just 3-5 minutes spent looking at nature can help reduce anger, anxiety and pain, inducing relaxation” (“18 Health Benefits of Trees,” onetreeplanted.org).
The tree is a complex living thing that is made from a seed of God’s miraculous design. Everything about the tree is complicated almost beyond comprehension.
The leaves are complex factories that use the power of sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugars by the process of photosynthesis. The oxygen is an essential part of the air we breathe, and the sugars are used by the tree itself. The bottom part of the leaf contains tiny pores called stomata that draw in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. The pores are opened and closed by guard cells.
The tree has a vast network of vascular tissues like veins that transport water and nutrients (transported by the xylem), and sugars (transported by the phloem) throughout the organism. The sugars move in the form of sap.
The tree’s roots attach it to the ground, provide stability, and draw up water and nutrients. A large oak tree moves about 130 pounds of water daily, while a full-grown redwood moves 8,000 pounds! Water is drawn up from the roots through the trunk and into the leaves by capillary action. (“Capillary action is a physical effect caused by the interactions of a liquid with the walls of a thin tube.”) Capillary action relies on C02’s “sticky” properties of cohesion (water molecules stick together like little magnets) and adhesion (water adheres to the walls of a transport vessel). There is an “energetic gain from the intermolecular interactions,” and this causes movement up the walls of the tube. “If you dip a paper towel [which is made of cellulose, the same as a tree’s xylem] in water, you will see it ‘magically’ climb up the towel, appearing to ignore gravity. You are seeing capillary action in action, and ‘climbing up’ is about right--the water molecules climb up the towel and drag other water molecules along. Plants and trees couldn't thrive without capillary action. ... Water, which contains dissolved nutrients, gets inside the roots and starts climbing up the plant tissue. ... the forces of adhesion and cohesion go to work in the plant’s xylem to move water to the furthest leaf” (“Capillary Action and Water,” usgs.gov). The water rises up the tree’s vessels because the water molecules chase each other. “When you put a small tube into water, the water likes to stick to each side, with a meniscus [a layer of water molecules adhering to a surface] on each side. If the tube is so skinny that the meniscus on one side can touch the meniscus on the other side, the water will rise up the tube (each meniscus wants to go up the side, and they chase each other). This is called ‘capillary action’” (“Tress and Capillary Action,” davidnelson.md). Tree roots can detect nutrients even inside of rocks and can break the rocks apart to reach them. When a root finds a patch of nutrients, roots multiply in that area to excavate those nutrients, and when they are depleted, that particular root system dissipates (Oak Tree: Nature’s Greatest Survivor, BBC Four, 2015).
Tree roots interact symbiotically with microscopic fungi (mycelial networks) that grow below the soil surface. The fungi are separate entities from the tree, but they colonize the tree’s roots and act as root extensions. Mycorrhizae (my-cor-eye’-ze) refers to the fungi-root system. Myco is fungus, and rhizo is roots. Over 90% of plants have a symbiotic relationship with mycorrhizae. One thimbleful of healthy soil contains several MILES of living fungal filaments. The fungi get carbon from the plants. In turn, the fungi assist the plant in absorption of water and nutrients, increasing absorption by 100 to 1,000 times. They act as an immune system to protect plants from pathogens, herbivores, and parasitic plants. They sound alarms against invaders.
Trees are capable of detecting attacking insects and creating chemical compounds that make their leaves bitter and undesirable. They can distinguish between various types of caterpillars and destructive insects. They use chemical messengers to warn other trees about the insects.
Trees communicate with wasps that cooperate in defeating attacking caterpillars. “Some plants, when attacked by caterpillars, release a scent that scientists simply describe as ‘green leaf odors.’ These odors attract certain female wasps, who home in on the plant. The wasp will sting the caterpillar, leaving him paralyzed. ... That ‘green leaf odor’ is a plant’s way of calling in air defenses. It is communication between plant and insect!” (Paul A. Bartz, Creation Moments, Mar. 29, 2021; I Chen, “Pest-eating allies: calling up the reserves,” Science News, Dec. 22 & 29, 1990).
“Researchers have learned that the trees themselves cooperate with one another. This cooperation even exists between species. Researchers shaded some trees, leaving others in the sun. Tagging trees with different isotopes of carbon, scientists were surprised to find carbon compounds made by the sunbathed trees present in the shaded tree! The trees that were doing well were helping the trees that were not able to photosynthesize, even if they were a different species. The true law of the jungle turns out to be cooperation” (Creation Moments, Feb. 17, 2015).
Trees praise the Lord by their very existence, and in Christ’s kingdom and beyond there will be no evolutionary lies to rob God of His glory by the creation.
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