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 on the Beauty & Benefits of Trees

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

Big Kenny

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. 

See more music artists talking 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?