Almond trees benefit nature

Like many other trees, almonds have numerous environmental benefits, including aiding air quality, benefiting wildlife and helping to address climate change.

Addressing climate change one orchard at a time

Some marketing managers may need a bit of perspective.

Chalk it up to Earth Day or the fact that Arbor Day falls on April 24, but a car lot in Fresno, Calif. says it will plant a new tree if, in the month of April, people simply buy or lease a certain make and model car they sell.

No, I’m not going to say what kind of car or ID the car lot. That’s not the point.

Sponsors of the project include a local non-profit organization that believes “our lives are enriched and our world improved by the gifts of trees, trails and greenbelts.”

Some of you probably already know where I’m going with this. Pour yourself a glass of California wine, sit back, and see how right you are.

Ever since California Gov. Jerry Brown shocked the urban world with his mandated water restrictions, the attack dogs have been released to hound the California almond industry. I guess all the trees almond growers have planted over the past several years don’t count.

My immediate thought when I saw the Facebook post announcing the car lot’s marketing gimmick was: “will they plant almond trees?”

Imagine the return to the car lot if they planted almonds instead of a simple shade tree. Use the profits from car sales to buy almond trees, wait a few years, and bingo… return on investment.

Let’s talk about trees since April 24 is Arbor Day, a day when we celebrate the benefits of trees.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, trees help:

  • Tame storm water
  • Fight climate change
  • Can save energy
  • Remove pollution from the atmosphere
  • Improve air quality
  • Contribute to our health
  • Provide us with oxygen
  • Clean our drinking water
  • Provide much-needed cooling
  • Benefit wildlife
  • Increase property value (just ask a farm appraiser)

They forgot a few:

  • Provide food
  • Provide jobs
  • Benefit local economies
  • Help honey bees

Where are the parades and keys to the city for all those farmers who continue to plant trees? It’s not just almonds.

Look at the walnuts, pistachios, plums, apples, avocados, citrus, olives and other fruit-bearing trees out there benefiting the environment by cleaning up the air we breathe and giving us life-sustaining oxygen in return. Let’s not forget all the tasty morsels we gain from trees.

Since almonds seem to be so popular among farmers and maligned by the public, I thought I’d highlight them since we’re closing in on a million acres of almonds planted for the public benefit by California farmers.

Perhaps our land grant institutions have studied the environmental benefits of commercial orchards related to air quality and other pertinent issues and could help us understand and communicate these benefits.

Imagine if almonds, for example, converted water to oxygen and helped make California’s air quality better for the people who live here, while providing all the added benefits the University of California determined in a recent study.

It’s kind of like cows converting water, hay and forage into milk, cheese, ice cream and yogurt.

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