The benefits of trees (2)

The ukwa or African breadfruit is one economic tree that will go extinct in Igboland due to rapid urbanization. It is used to prepare a lot of mouth watering delicacies that lovers of African dishes cannot overlook. It is smooth and delicious to the mouth and taste buds. I do not know much of its nutritional value but it is very costly. A cup of ukwa in the time of its peak fruiting is about one hundred and fifty Naira. I learnt that it is sixhundred and fifty Naira in Lagos.  A fully grown ukwa tree can produce up to five hundred cups of ukwa per-anum. Imagine the money a person stands to make if he or she decides to have 10 stands of Ukwa.  The ukwa can be budded and better varieties can be gotten from the forestry departments, river basins authorities and agric development projects of some South East and South-South States. A budded ukwa tree will start fruiting in four years and will reach its age of massive fruiting in seven years. Ukwa today has become an export commodity mostly to Europe and America where you have Igbos in Diaspora.
Unlock your wealth it is sitting right with you! I met a young man who was lamenting his NYSC posting to Kwara State. I simply told him, “There is wealth in Kwara, if only you would look down!”
One large tree can supply a day’s supply of oxygen for four people. A healthy tree can store 13 pounds of carbon each year -for an acre of trees that equals to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide. Each gallon of gasoline burned produces almost 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. For every 10,000 miles you drive, it takes 7 trees to remove the amount of carbon dioxide produced.  If your car gets 40 miles per gallon (mpg); it will take 10 trees at 30 mpg; 15 trees at 20 mpg; 20 trees at 15 mpg; and 25 trees at 12 mpg)
Several studies have found that access to nature yields better cognitive functioning, more self-discipline, and greater mental health overall.  Hospital patients have been shown to recover from surgery more quickly when their hospital room offered a view of trees. They also had fewer complaints, less pain killers and left the hospital sooner.
Most of us respond to the presence of trees beyond simply observing their beauty. We feel serene, peaceful, restful and tranquil in a grove of trees. We are “at home” there.  Trees provide us with color, flowers, fruit, interesting shapes and forms to look at.  Trees can screen unattractive views, soften the sometimes harsh outline of masonry, metal, asphalt, steel, and glass.  Trees can separate and define space thus providing a sense of privacy, solitude and security, and create a feeling of relaxation and well being.
Trees help people reflect positively on life’ changes. Trees have been reported as having a relaxing effect on students studying for exams.  Studies have documented that urban vegetation can result in slower heartbeats, lower blood pressure and more relaxed brain wave patterns. Sound waves are absorbed by tree leaves and branches. A belt of trees 100 feet wide and 45 feet high can reduce highway noise by 50 percent. Prolonged exposure to noise can cause hypertension, higher cholesterol levels, irritability and aggressive behavior. Trees can create lasting impression on how a community is perceived by visitors and affect the mood and community pride of its residents.  Trees can enhance community economic stability by attracting businesses and tourists.

About the author