Without trees, humans would not have evolved. Certainly there would be no form of human civilisation. No trees, no fire. No fire, no metal. Not to mention no lunch; in fact, you would be lunch for any predator with stronger teeth and talons than you.
It's easy to forget what we owe to trees and plants. The ability to breathe, for example. No trees or plants, no oxygen. And hands. Without having spent 80 million years living in trees, we would have no hands. No hands, no Independent on Sunday.
Finally, there is beauty. Trees are a reminder of the sublime beauty that resides in nature. It might be possible to live in a world without beauty, but who would want to? So next time you walk under a tree, take a moment to say 'Thank you'. And never mind the stares of passers-by.
Felix Dennis' 'How to Get Rich' (Ebury, £7.99) and 'Island of Dreams: 99 Poems from Mustique' (Noctua, £12.50) are both out nowReuse content