Photosynthesis and Trees – How Does It Work Exactly?

Photosynthesis is an important process in helping trees live and grow. It allows the tree to trap the sun’s energy in the form of sugar using its leaves. Leaves then store the resulting sugar in their cells in the form of glucose for immediate and potential tree growth. Photosynthesis is a natural chemical process that takes twelve molecules of water from the roots of the tree and six molecules of carbon dioxide from the air. Together, these molecules create sugar, or food, for the tree. It’s a vital process for tree health and growth.

What is photosynthesis?

Photosynthesis is the process by which trees take the energy from the sun, or light in general, and turn it into nutrients so they can live and grow. They turn the light into chemical energy in the form of sugar, or glucose. For a tree to undergo the process of photosynthesis, it needs more than just light. It also needs carbon dioxide from the air and water from the root system.

Where, in the tree, does photosynthesis take place?

Photosynthesis occurs in the tree’s leaves. Why? This is where they keep all of the ingredients they need for the process to take place. The root system is responsible for bringing up water from the ground so make sure your trees are well watered or irrigated. The water permeates the leaves. Then, the carbon dioxide gets inside the leaves via its stomata, or pores. This is how oxygen will exit the tree afterwards. Yes, the tree gives back to the Earth using photosynthesis. It takes carbon dioxide from the air but returns oxygen to the Earth. Isn’t that great?

What’s the equation of photosynthesis?

6 carbon dioxide molecules + 6 water molecules + sunlight = 6 oxygen molecules + glucose + water. What does this even mean? Well, for those of us who are not scientific geniuses, it is actually pretty simple. The equation of photosynthesis means that the tree uses carbon dioxide, water and sunlight to create oxygen, glucose and water. The tree uses the glucose as food. Chlorophyll molecules of the trees are responsible for giving the tree its green pigment. These cells also use the sun’s energy to separate some hydrogen from the water. They add it to the carbon and oxygen molecules. This creates soluble carbohydrates, or glucose, which the tree turns into starch and stores. The oxygen atoms from the water molecules are then free to go into the air as free oxygen, which trees release back into the atmosphere. This is why trees are so good for our health and the environment.

How does the tree use the products created from photosynthesis?

The trees basically use the glucose as their food source. The phloem, a system made up of tubular cells, transports this food bringing the glucose, or sugar, from leaves to other areas of the tree. When the food reaches its destination, it is used to produce hormones, resins and vitamins, each of which are necessary for growth as well as maintaining a resistance to pest infestations and trees.

Don’t you think the process of tree photosynthesis is amazing? We sure do. We hope you keep your trees well-watered so that they can engage in this process as often as they need to. For more information on trees, please keep reading our blog. At Austin Tree Service, we try to educate you about your trees so they stay healthy and you stay happy. If you have any issues with your tree, please call us at 512-341-8888.