Is living in a world without trees possible?

Is living in a world without trees possible?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a world without trees?

Trees are something human beings take for granted each and every day—many times without realizing it. Even so, trees continue to provide our lives with physical and environmental benefits—without fail—and never grumble about the effort.

But in a world without trees, we would all be forced to understand their selfless contributions to society.

There are purposeful benefits to trees such as paper to produce books for learning, lumber necessary for the places we call home and as fuel to create fires for warmth and cooking.

There are healthful benefits as well such as cleaning the air for better respiration, filtering and retaining water (especially during drought conditions) and providing energy conservation during the summer heat.

While many might argue that “a world without trees” is an impossibility, there are reasons to support the theory. In a word:  deforestation.

So, what is deforestation?

According the LiveScience, Deforestation is the permanent destruction of forests in order to make the land available for other uses. An estimated 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest, which is roughly the size of the country of Panama, are lost each year, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).”

While not a commonly discussed topic, deforestation is often caused by the illegal removal of trees for fuel, to make way for housing and ranching, to create paper, furniture and lumber and even for consumer ingredients such as palm oil.

The results of deforestation can be dramatic and include:

  • A loss of both animal and plant species
  • Changes to the water cycle (more than half the water in our ecosystem is held within trees and plants according to the National Geographic Society)
  • Soil erosion leading to increased flooding and landslides
  • Quality of life (more flooding and landslides can lead to contaminated water supplies)

Deforestation is real, and while the threat of a world without trees may not seem like an issue today, it will be for future generations. So, how can you and your communities help lesson the impact, right here and now?

  • Maintain proper plant health care for your trees to extend their lifespan
  • Plant new trees in parks, at schools, in common areas and businesses and in backyards
  • Go paperless whenever possible and make recycling paper products a routine (2000 pounds of recycled paper can save17 trees)
  • Support global efforts to stop the deforestation of rain forests

Journalist and reporter Bryce Nelson writes, “People who will not sustain trees will soon live in a world that will not sustain people.”

Deforestation is real. But there are simple things you can do today to help contribute to its decline.

For more information on caring for your trees or planting news ones, visit