Vast stretches of land naturally covered with a variety of plants are called forests. We need forests. Let us not be afraid of them. You know about Robin Hood and how he enjoyed his life in the forest.

Millions of years ago, when there was no man, no animal, no bird, much of the earth was covered with trees, plants and creepers. They were the only living things. Many trees live for thousands of years.

The earth is called green planet, why?

Have you seen ferns?

Today they are only ornamental plants in small pots. These ferns were huge trees in the early days of the earth! There were also many other kinds of trees. These covered the surface of the earth as a green carpet. There was no man at that time to cut them down and so they grew wildly.

Most trees have branches that spread out. They produce flowers and fruits. Some trees grow tall. They have needle like leaves and they produce cones

There are coniferous trees. They normally need a cool climate to grow.

Different trees have leaves of different shapes.

What happened to all those huge forests on earth?

Many changes took place on earth. There were earthquakes that suddenly buried the forests deep down, where they changed into coal! Then there were volcanic eruptions, and forests fires! Thus many forests were destroyed.

But again after period of time forests grew afresh and brightened up the earth.

And then man came! Man settled down near river valleys. When man made tools, he also made the axe! He cleared parts of forests for cultivating his crops. Then he cleared some more land for roads! Then he destroyed forests to get minerals and metals from below (mining). More lands were needed for bigger settlements town and cities or more people. He cut trees to build homes. Then e cut trees to make boats. Forests were cleared for sports and amusement parks! Man’s demands were endless and he went on cutting trees. Today there are only few forests left.

In this age of machines, where automobiles polluted the air with their fumes, forests help to clean the air. So, grow more trees like neem and peepul to prevent air –pollution.

Forests need sunlight, water and soil trees, with the help of sunlight, water and minerals, produce food for you and me. In this process thy give out water.

This comes back to us as rain. If there are forests, we get regular rains. Underground water supply is plentiful if there are trees. Roots also hold on to topsoil and prevent it from being washed away by water or blown away by winds. It takes thousands of years to build 5 cm. of soil but this can be washed away by winds and water in a day if there were no trees!

Forests protected us. In any country, at least one-third of the land must be forest land. Remember Forests re store houses of energy, food and shelter.



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