If Trees Could Sing: Big Kenny on the Beauty & Benefits of Trees
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.
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?