Why Do Trees Need Sunlight?


Without trees, the world would be a lot less beautiful. Lots of animals would lose their habitats. Many nuts and fruits would not be available, and what would we do without wood, rubber or paper? Perhaps the most important role of trees, though, is how they use sunlight.


  • Some trees are evergreens and do not shed their leaves every year. Others are deciduous and lose their leaves each autumn. New leaves grow in the spring. Whether or not the leaves have an annual cycle, it is inside the leaves where trees process sunlight.


  • The only parts of a tree that are green are the leaves. The green areas of plants contain chlorophyll, the green pigment that is responsible for absorbing sunlight. There the light energy combines with carbon dioxide in a process called photosynthesis. The result is sugar to feed the plant and oxygen, which is released into the air.


  • In addition to providing nourishment for the trees themselves, the process of photosynthesis uses up the carbon dioxide from the air. People exhale carbon dioxide. When we burn fossil fuels, carbon dioxide is released. This contributes to the problem of global warming, which threatens to hurt our climate and the earth. One of the most valuable things that we can do to prevent global warming is to plant more trees.


  • Trees block half of the sun from the rest of the plants in a forest area. This is one reason that the tallest trees in the forest tend to be the species that get their spring leaves later than the other plants. When a really tall tree dies, the saplings that have been growing in its shade spring up. There may be several saplings near a mature tree that stay fairly short until the dead tree exposes them to the light. Then the sapling that grows the fastest will dominate the forest canopy, and the other smaller trees may die.

Time Frame

  • Only a few species of trees can tolerate less than half a day of sunlight. These tend to be the shorter trees in the forest. They include birch, dogwood, magnolia and redbud trees.

Related Searches

Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • Why Is It Important to Plant Trees?

    Planting trees has a number of economic, communal and environmental benefits, according to the City of Bowling Green website. The amount of...

  • Why Do Trees Have Leaves?

    The primary reason why trees have leaves is to produce photosynthesis. This is the process by which leaves collect energy from the...

  • What Is Direct Sunlight?

    Direct sunlight is important in the natural world and elsewhere because it provides the energy which fuels the growth of plants that...

  • What Does Spring Do to Cherry Trees?

    Cherry trees undergo a number of transformations in the springtime. Without the spring to awaken the tree before it begins producing fruit,...

  • How to Grow a Dragon's Blood Tree

    Dragon's Blood trees have been used throughout the ages for everything from staining wood to healing cuts and scrapes to magickal ceremonies....

  • How to Care for Dwarf Orange Tree

    Dwarf orange trees can be grown in a house with good lighting since they only grow to be about three feet tall....

  • How Much Sunlight Does a Bonsai Tree Need?

    Bonsai trees require an almost obsessive amount of care. Besides the constant pruning, fertilizing and watering, the tree also needs light and...

  • Evergreen Shrubs and Trees

    Evergreen trees and shrubs offer year-round interest. They sport foliage even in the winter months, unlike deciduous varieties that lose their foliage....

  • Can You Put a Ficus Tree Outside in the Summer?

    Your Ficus tree might do very well outdoors during summer, as many of them do. Ficus trees need a lot of sunlight...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make a Vertical Clay Pot Garden

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!