March 19, 2021
Trees Can Save the World, says Basil Camu

By Mary Reid Barrow

If you ask arborist Basil Camu to cut down a tree in your yard, he won’t do it.

The Raleigh, N.C., “Treecologist and Wizard of Things” believes the answer to many of our problems with sea level rise and global warming is to care for trees, to plant more trees and above all, don’t cut them down.  Camu said his company won’t  cut a tree down unless it is a real hazard.

“What we do can make a difference to the health of the planet,”  he firmly believes.

He believes it so much that he speaks via Zoom,  on “How Trees Can Save the World  and What We Can Do to Help” to organizations in Raleigh and beyond.  Last week, he gave his compelling virtual presentation to the Virginia Beach Council of Garden Clubs.

Owner of a tree company, Leaf and Limb in Raleigh, Camu talks about trees and how they are one of our best answers to climate change and sea level rise to almost anybody who will listen.

And if you listen, you will come away a believer  too. Trees provide a really good blueprint for the future.

“Now the world is losing a football field of trees every two seconds,”   Camu said.

Forests provide homes to 80 percent of the terrestrial plants and animals on earth but we have lost 60 percent of our bio-diversity because we have lost so many trees.  That means insects, birds and animal are disappearing because their homes and food are disappearing too, he explained.

“People are dying from poor air quality,” Camu said

Trees provide clean air. They are “giant, highly efficient air filters.”  Trees breathe in carbon dioxide, store the carbon in the soil and breathe out clean oxygen for us to breathe.

“We have lost one-half of the world’s top soil in the last 50 years,” Camu said.

Trees absorb water during storms and help with flooding.  “Add trees to green spaces in developments and they will change storm water runoff,” he said.

Trees also  hold topsoil in place, especially during storms. By holding the soil, trees actually save water because rain water doesn’t rush off the land. The water percolates down into the aquifers instead.

Camu believes that one of the big solutions to these problems is to “plant new trees and care for the ones we have.”

See my next  blog when I’ll  pass on Camu’s tips on planting new trees and caring for the ones we have.]


 Find out more at Leaf and Limb’s website:   See Camu’s YouTube video of a presentation on “How Trees Can Save the World -And What You Can do to Help:

 Do you have a favorite tree or plant with a story to tell?  What relationships have you observed  between plants and critters?  Who eats whom?  Who has babies where?   Send an email to


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