16th May is a day where you can stop and appreciate trees – it is Love Tree day and who does not love a tree?

Personally, I have a controlled obsession about our fabulous woody perennial plants and love everything about them, let’s face it human life could not exist if there were no trees!

Did you know that a mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.

A forest acts as a giant filter that cleans the air we breathe as trees help cleanse the air by intercepting airborne particles, reducing heat, and absorbing such pollutants as carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. They remove this air pollution by lowering air temperature, through respiration, and by retaining particulates.

Trees muffle urban noise almost as effectively as stone walls so we need to ensure we are not just chopping them down without justification- it can take up to 30 years for a tree to be fully grown depending on the climate.

They produce shade, act as windbreakers, purify the soil to name, but a few of the good things they bring – so with all this goodness surely, they deserve a hug?

Tree hugging is a great way to destress and get back to nature bringing positivity and calm back into your busy life!

All it takes is five minutes of your day to put aside to hug a tree, however depending on the accessibility of trees, it certainly would not harm to do it as many times as you want.  For those lucky to have trees in their gardens, there is a big chance that you have looked at them pruned them, have memories of the changing of the seasons but an even bigger chance you have never hugged them – so now is your chance!

However, if you do not have a tree handy then you may need to venture out further afield to just that a field with trees around it, a park with trees in it or a wood or forest.

Sometimes any tree will do but if you are in a forest or wood do not just hug the first one you see, wait, and walk and see which one you connect with before you run at it with open arms.  There are many unhugged trees in the world just waiting for you to arrive!

Once you find your perfect tree, its simple, just hold on tight and do not let go, you can close your eyes whilst you feel the currents from the tree start flowing in your direction.  Follow your breath like you would in a mindful meditation, conscious of the inhale and the exhale, focused, and with knowledge of the reality of this inter-relationship, breathe it in, exhale it out.

Interacting with a tree produces a positive and measurable effect on our hormone levels. There are so many benefits to hugging a tree recharging you with fresh air, positive energy boosting your mood.  Trees naturally emit phytoncides or aerosol molecules that we can absorb through our skin or inhale into our bloodstream — often the very same terpenes that are the beneficial therapy in aromatherapy.

Some can trigger endorphin release; some can activate enzymes and bodily systems to prompt or rebalance health perception and physical wellbeing.  Different trees can give you different feelings and emotions, so try to hug a variety also the colour green is known to lower systolic blood pressure and calm the central nervous system.