Essay On Plants For Grade 1

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Trees

© Contributed by Leanne Guenther

(note:  Links to printables found at the bottom of this page)

Trees are an important part of our world.  They provide wood for building and pulp for making paper.  They provide habitats (homes) for all sorts of insects, birds and other animals.  Many types of fruits and nuts come from trees -- including apples, oranges, walnuts, pears and peaches.  Even the sap of trees is useful as food for insects and for making maple syrup -- yum!

Trees also help to keep our air clean and our ecosystems healthy.  We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.  Trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen.  We're perfect partners!

Trees do lots for us, our environment and other plants and animals in nature but we don't just love trees for practical reasons.  Trees can also be very beautiful -- tall enough they seem to touch the sky and so big around you can't even hug them.  Thousands of artists, professional and amateur alike have painted pictures of trees and thousands of poems, songs and stories have been written about them.  I would guess that just about everyone on earth has at some point in their life stopped to enjoy the beauty of a tree.

Types of Trees:

There are two main types of trees: deciduous and evergreen.  Deciduous trees lose all of their leaves for part of the year.  In cold climates, this happens during the autumn so that the trees are bare throughout the winter.  In hot and dry climates, deciduous trees usually lose their leaves during the dry season.

Evergreen trees don't lose all of their leaves at the same time -- they always have some foliage.  They do lose their leaves a little at a time with new ones growing in to replace the old but a healthy evergreen tree is never completely without leaves.

Parts of a Tree:

Roots: 

The roots are the part of the tree that grows underground.  Trees have a lot of roots -- the size of the root system is usually as big as the part of the tree above the ground.  This is necessary because the roots help support the tree.  It takes a lot of roots to hold up a 100 foot tree!

Besides keeping the tree from tipping over, the main job of the roots is to collect water and nutrients from the soil and to store them for times when there isn't as much available.

Crown: 

The crown is made up of the leaves and branches at the top of a tree.  The crown shades the roots, collects energy from the sun (photosynthesis) and allows the tree to remove extra water to keep it cool (transpiration -- similar to sweating in animals).   The crowns of trees come in many shapes and sizes! 

Leaves: 

Leaves are the part of the crown of a tree.  They are the part of the tree that converts energy into food (sugar).  Leaves are the food factories of a tree.  They contain a very special substance called chlorophyll -- it is chlorophyll that gives leaves their green colour.  Chlorophyll is an extremely important biomolecule, used in photosynthesis -- leaves use the sun’s energy to convert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water from the soil into sugar and oxygen.  The sugar, which is the tree’s food, is either used or stored in the branches, trunk and roots.  The oxygen is released back into the atmosphere.

Branches: 

The branches provide the support to distribute the leaves efficiently for the type of tree and the environment.  They also serve as conduits for water and nutrients and as storage for extra sugar.

Trunk: 

The trunk of the tree provides its shape and support and holds up the crown.  The trunk transports water and nutrients from the soil and sugar from the leaves.

Parts of the Trunk:

Inside the trunk of a tree are a number of rings.  Each year of the tree's life a new ring is added so many people refer to them as the annual rings.  The rings are actually made up of different parts:

Bark:

The outside layer of the trunk, branches and twigs of trees.  The bark serves as a protective layer for the more delicate inside wood of the tree.  Trees actually have inner bark and outer bark -- the inner layer of bark is made up of living cells and the outer layer is made of dead cells, sort of like our fingernails.

The scientific name for the inner layer of bark is Phloem.  The main job of this inner layer is to carry sap full of sugar from the leaves to the rest of the tree.

A number of handy things are made from bark including latex, cinnamon and some kinds of poisons.  Because bark is a protective layer for the tree, keeping it safe from insects and animals, it isn't surprising the strong flavours, scents and toxins can often be found in the bark of different types of trees. 

Cambium:

The thin layer of living cells just inside the bark is called cambium.  It is the part of the tree that makes new cells allowing the tree to grow wider each year.

Sapwood (Xylem): 

The scientific name for sapwood is xylem.  It is made up of a network of living cells that bring water and nutrients up from the roots to the branches, twigs and leaves.  It is the youngest wood of the tree -- over the years, the inner layers of sapwood die and become heartwood.

Heartwood: 

The heartwood is dead sapwood in the center of the trunk.  It is the hardest wood of the tree giving it support and strength.  It is usually darker in colour than the sapwood.

Pith:  

Pith is the tiny dark spot of spongy living cells right in the center of the tree trunk.  Essential nutrients are carried up through the pith.  It's placement right in the center means it is the most protected from damage by insects, the wind or animals.

Printable Activities and Worksheets from KidZone.ws:


Information About Trees - page 1
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Information About Trees - page 2
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Information About Trees - page 3
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  • Parts of a Tree Worksheet:

Fill in the blanks:
Parts of a Tree Worksheet
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Parts of a Tree Worksheet
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  • Parts of a Trunk Worksheet

Fill in the blanks:
Parts of a Trunk Worksheet
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Parts of a Trunk Worksheet
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Links to Printable Activities and Worksheets from Other Websites:

 

Check out the Spanish version of this section >

 

Earth is called a green planet due to the presence of plants on it.

Plants are considered to be the first living organisms born on the earth.

Without plants, the environment and human life on this earth cannot exist.

We grow plants in our homes, gardens, farms, roadsides etc.

Their presence is inevitable for clean air, food and water in this world.

Even these plants contribute to our economy. People of many countries rely on plant products for their livelihood and income.

Plants people relationships is so much interlinked that we need them to survive.

The Importance of plants to humans

Benefits of plants to humans Plants are in following ways as

1. Food: Plants are the main source of food for humans. Plants, unlike humans and animals, manufacture their own food. They do so by the process known as photosynthesis in their green leaves by use of sunlight.

They can convert and store the light energy in the form of carbohydrates. This process takes place in the leaves (chlorophyll) by use of carbon-dioxide and water.

From this manufactured food, they consume some of it and store the remaining. This is stored in the form of fruits, seeds, tuberous roots etc. This fruits and other parts of plants are consumed by humans. The food is in the form of vegetables, fruits, grains, cereals, leaves, seeds, mushrooms etc.

They provide the complete food comprising of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. But still, for few vitamins we may need to rely on animal foods.

 This is the prime importance of plants to humans.

2. Clothing: Plants are the largest providers of textile and fabric material.

These materials are eco-friendly, compatible and less expensive.

So they are used for making cloth and bedding material which is required by humans.

The plant materials like cotton, jute etc contribute for manufacturing of yarn and other clothing.

3. Furniture & Shelter: Plants are the important source of furniture. The plant wood is used to build houses and also to make other furniture items. We use wood for the purpose due to its features like durability, stylish finishing, resistance to temperature changes etc. The trees like teak, neem, red sandal etc. are good sources of wood for making doors, chairs, shelves, tables etc.

Even the presence of plants around the area of human life relieves stress. Hence we see many people growing small plants in their household to get fresh air and also give naturalness.

4.Flowers: Flowers are used widely by humans. They are used for beauty, to convey feelings and also for their fragrance. In some countries, they worn as garlands and even in the hair on the head for beauty. While some use them to convey their love to their beloved ones. They are also used to produce fragrance and even their scent is extracted for daily use.

5. Medicines: Plants are a great source of medicine even for life-threatening diseases.

For example drugs like

♦ Ginseng for vitality and immunity enhancement.

♦ Digoxin for congestive heart failure (from digitalis plant)

♦ Vincristine for cancer treatment (from vinca rosea)

♦ Theophylline for asthma (from coffee & Tea)

♦ Ergot for a migraine headache. (from Rye plant due to fungus ergot)

♦ Reserpine for blood pressure are obtained from them.

So we can even notice that plants are the sole sources of medicines for few life-threatening disorders too.

Also, plant medicine is safer due to their lower chances of side effects and also better compatibility to humans.

Besides, Bacteria, like microbes are which are classified as plants in taxonomy also support humans. For instance, they produce antibiotics, insulin, hormones, enzymes by recombinant DNA technology.

6. A source of vitamins: Plants are the largest source of essential vitamins to the body.  The body cannot manufacture vitamins on its own for metabolism.

7. Rubber & Plastic: We obtain rubber required for tire, wiring, seats etc from plants.

8. Natural pesticides: Plants are also the source of insecticides and pesticides. Using artificial pesticides are harmful to the environment. They may even enter food causing health issue to human and animals. Using these naturally derived pesticides are safe. They degrade with time and even do not harm the soil. Ex: Pyrethrin (as Mosquito repellant), Neem, bacteria etc.

9. Bio fuels: Some plants are also grown for the sake of bio-fuels. The plants fuel is less toxic as it does not emit harmful gasses and also less expensive. Even the plant waste is used to generate electricity.

10. Economic contribution: Plants are great contributors to an economy. Many countries rely on agriculture as one of the main sources of revenue.

Plants are responsible for the production of food, cosmetics, drugs, cloth, honey, gum, tannins, essential oils (perfumes), alkaloids, resins etc. which are all money yielding. So plants provide a great contribution to economic growth. Even now many countries  economy largely depends on plant products.

Importance of Plants in nature.

Environment and the climate are largely interlinked with plants. Rainfall, humidity, and temperature are influenced by the presence of plants. Cutting down plants also imbalance the environment which will indirectly affect human life.

See→Importance of Environment.

1. They form the starting point of food chains:

 

In every food chain, the plants occupy the first position and lead the chain as a source of food. For example

Grass→ Cow→  Lion.

Grass → Insect → Frog→ Snake→ Eagle.

Here the plant starts the chain and other animals live on it directly or indirectly. Without plants, there can be no life on earth.

2.Gaseous balance: Plants help maintain gaseous balance in the air. Animals emit carbon dioxide by taking in oxygen. This rise in carbon dioxide levels in air is reduced by plants.  They consume carbon dioxide and release oxygen during photosynthesis. Thus oxygen the essential life force is kept intact on the earth due to plants alone.

3.Prevent soil erosion: Plants, when grown in dense, prevent soil erosion, i.e. in times of winds, the fertile top layer of soil is carried away by air. This is prevented by plants if grown around.

4.Ecological balance: Plants impart greenery to the atmosphere, they help reduce heat and prevent drying up of moisture. Thus they are environmental savvy.

5. Support rainfall: Plants and trees have a cooling effect on the atmosphere leading to rainfall. Hence we see no rains in deserts.

Rainfall is very important to provide water for drinking, cleaning, irrigation etc. Hence the role of forest in the cause of rainfall is indispensable.

6. Maintain soil fertility: Plants maintain soil fertility. Their droppings and shedding of leaves, fruits, and other parts degrade in the soil to form humus. This humus increases soil fertility as it is microbial friendly. Plants like blue-green algae and bacteria are also extensively used to fix nitrogen in the soil for agriculture.

7.Support for birds and animals:

Plants are the best places of shelter for birds and few animals like monkeys & squirrels to live.

Birds build their nests for hatching eggs, sleep, hunt, and safety on the trees.

In forests, animals can take shelter under trees in heavy summers and rain.

They also provide nutrition for many soil worms (earthworms), insects, rodents etc.

Importance of Plants in Environment

1.Reduce Gaseous pollution: In cities and towns, there is a rise in gaseous pollution like(CO2, CO, SO2 etc). So city environments are highly polluted and unsafe for living.  This is due to automobiles and factories ejecting toxic gases and also reducing the healthy oxygen ratio of air. Air pollution causes diseases of various types. So growing plants on the roadside, parks etc. helps minimize the gaseous pollution. For the benefit of plants oxygen they can even be grow in office, residential areas, education institutes etc. For this we can use low maintenance plants like indoor potted plants, hanging plants etc. 

8. Miscellaneous benefits: They are the source of essential oils which are used in perfumes. Their material is used for making beverages like wine, beer etc. Other items like paper, bio-diesel, bio-manure are also obtained by use of plant material.

So they contribute to all the types of living beings either big or small, on land or water.

But given the vast importance of plants to human, we need to strive for plant conservation.

Thanks…

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