It’s widely-known that trees emit oxygen into the atmosphere. What is less known is that trees also affect the airs’ electrical properties. According to researchers, the air in our atmosphere has about a 50/50 mix of positive and negative ions. These ions are derived from radiated air molecules coming all the way from outer space, as well as radon being emitted from deep underground rocks and soil. Typically, radon levels remain constant from place to place. But researchers “Down Under” discovered that in some wooded areas, radon concentration was double the normal (expected) amount. They found that radon was being absorbed by trees through groundwater and released into the air through natural transpiration. They also found that, in areas where trees with especially deep root systems (such as eucalyptus) were growing, there was even more radon, peaking at mid-day, when photosynthesis and transpiration were at their height. More radon means more negative ions, and more negative ions means less pollution — and hence, cleaner air. To make the story even better, negative ions improve how our lungs absorb oxygen. We benefit greatly from spending more time hanging out with trees. Plant more trees so there’s more radon to go around, and as such, more negative ions to help us all breathe easier. Given the current rate that our “modern civilization” creates pollution-churning machines, devices and factories, let’s hope that there are enough shovels, soil and seedlings to go around.