If Trees Could Sing - Big Kenny - The Beauty of Trees
Big Kenny talks about the benefits of trees for people and nature. © Used by permission of Big Kenny Alphin.

Stories in Tennessee

If Trees Could Sing: Big Kenny

Big Kenny talks about how trees enhance our lives and make them healthier.

Big Kenny Alphin is a singer-songwriter best known for his role in the cutting-edge country duo Big & Rich, with John Rich. Big & Rich have recorded five albums (their latest is Gravity) and placed more than a dozen songs on the country charts. Kenny has written hits not only for himself, but also for Tim McGraw, Gretchen Wilson, and Jason Aldean. 

More music artists talk about trees . . . 

Big Kenny Big Kenny talks about the beauty and benefits of trees for The Nature Conservancy's "If Tree Could Sing" video series.

A Few Benefits of Trees

  • Oxygen: All trees produce oxygen from carbon dioxide, which they remove from the air.
  • Cooling: Trees cool the air through a process in which water evaporates from leaves or needles. 
  • Energy Savings: Tree shade can dramatically reduce home air conditioning costs.
  • Pollution Control: Trees remove pollution from the air. A single mature tree can remove more than 200 lbs. of pollution a year.
  • Flood Control: Trees soak up stormwater, reducing flooding. In big storms, a tree can absorb 50 to 100 gallons of rainwater.
  • Paper: Trees provide paper. The average American uses 750 lbs. of paper a year.
  • Homes: Trees provide lumber for homes. 95% of American homes are built with wood.

Big Kenny's featured tree in Centennial Park in Nashville is the Eastern Cottonwood. Here are some details about it.

Eastern Cottonwood Facts

  • Scientific name: Populus deltoides
  • Other names: cotton tree, whitewood
  • Range: across the Midwest and South, and into Texas
  • Height: up to 125 feet tall. Grows quickly. Can grow 4 or 5 feet a year.
  • Fruit:  clusters of 1/2" green capsules, containing 30-50 seeds swathed in cottony fibers
  • Fall colors: leaves turn yellow-gold
  • Learn more about this tree and others through our If Trees Could Sing resource page.

You Can Take Care of Trees Like the Eastern Cottonwood

  • Plant in late fall or winter when the tree is dormant, unless the ground is frozen. 
  • Allow plenty of room for the tree to mature and grow.
  • Water regularly in its first three years.
  • Spread mulch around the base of the tree. 

Mighty Cool Tree Fact

Did you know... one tree can absorb as much carbon in a year as a car produces driving 26,000 miles?