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Why monitor trees?

Trees tell us a huge amount about our relationship with the environment. We are inviting you, together with schools across Europe, to take part in our big investigation on the phenology of six common tree species. The results will help us to learn about how trees differ across Europe and to learn how we are living with our environment.

Trees are a vital part of our life support system and play a major role in maintaining the balance of the environment. Trees are ‘living islands’ for many species which makes them ideal objects for biodiversity monitoring projects.  Trees provide a number of ecosystem services such as the conversion of carbon dioxide into oxygen and minimising soil erosion. Without these services the lives we lead today would not be possible.  Moreover, trees can tell stories about history, the present and the future.

Following the Phenology phases of trees and examining the patterns across Europe enables us to see how these differ both spatially and, with the assistance of historical records, temporally. Trees act as indicators of how the environment is changing. They are exemplars of sustainability and with such widespread presence across Europe, they also provide us with ideas of how we too can live sustainably.