Well, the promised “lovely young neighbor” has been replaced by her dad, Derek. He’s seen in this episode watering the plane tree outside his building. You may notice that his tree has a very wide bed—that’s the place that holds the dirt around a tree. This gives its roots lots of room to grow. In the city, roots grow sideways, parallel to the sidewalk, which is the only place there’s space. Sometimes, they even run into the roots of other trees down the block.
Derek’s tree also has a fence around it. Fences keep people from hanging off the branches of trees, which can damage them or make them break off. They keep cars from backing into them. And they keep dogs from peeing on them—watch the episode and find out why this is so bad for trees!
Here are some quick facts about trees and why they are vitally important to us:
* One 40-year-old tree can absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide a year
* One large tree can make enough oxygen for 2 people to breathe
* A young, healthy tree has the same cooling power as 10 air conditioners working 20 hours a day!
To learn more about how you can help the trees on your block, visit the NYC park’s department website. The information you’ll find there is great even if you live in another city—or not even a city at all!