Trees are often referred to as the “lungs of the Earth“—and for good reason. Trees take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, creating a hospitable environment for humans and other life forms.
Last year, researchers at Yale University estimated that the planet is home to 3.04 trillion trees—that’s 422 trees per person. But according to those researchers, humans are removing trees at the rate of 15 billion per year. And there are now about half as many trees as there were at the dawn of civilization.
Aside from all of the crucial ecosystem services that trees provide, they’re also often stunningly beautiful.
Here are 20 Instagram photos of some of the world’s most beautiful trees:
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