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(2010-08-22 23:55:55)



分类: 英汉对照读物

                                Trees, Man and Ecology




    The largest living thing on Earth (1) is a tree---a California sequoia called “General Sherman,” 272 feet tall with a trunk 32 feet thick. The oldest living thing is also a tree---a scrubby bristle-cone pine ,4,900 years old, growing on the cold, bare side of a Nevada mountain.



A tree is a tall, woody plant that usually has one main stem, or trunk. Trees can be divided into two groups by the shapes of their leaves: the needle-leaf trees and broad-leaf trees.



  The needle-leaf trees include pines, spruces, firs, hemlocks, and cedars. Most needle-leaf trees are evergreen. Their leaves stay green all year round and don’t fall off in the winter



The broad-leaf trees are members of flowering plants, including the oaks, elms, maples, birches, and beeches. They bear fruits and flowers, though the flowers of some trees are too small to see and the fruit may not look much like fruit. Their leaves may usually fall off in the winter and grow back in the spring.



A tree grows from a seed. The seeds normally drop from trees in winter. A seed may be carried for some distance by the wind, a bird, or animal. With luck, it falls on fertile ground.



The seed lies dormant through the winter. In the warmth and wetness of spring it begins to sprout. The root emerges first, poking through the seed coat and digging down into the soil. Then the first shoot appears, pushing up into the air and sun.



The taproot grows straight down to anchor the tree and reach for deep water. Other roots grow outward in search of surface water. At the same time, the shoot develops into the stem, branches, and leaves. The roots and the leaves must grow at about the same rate. The leaves, through a chemical process called photosynthesis, make food so the tree can live and grow. The roots provide the water needed to make the food. The flow of food and water between the roots and leaves is accomplished by layers of cells formed by the cambium.



Today millions of acres of trees are grown for lumber. Houses and furniture are built of wood. The paper in this magazine is a product of trees. We eat the fruits and nuts from trees. Birds and wildlife need trees for food and shelter. The changing beauty of trees delights us. Trees flower in spring. Their summer green provides welcome shade. Autumn brings glorious colors to trees, and in winter their bare branches are like lace against the sky.




   Ecology is the relationship among plants, animals including man, and the rest of the environment. Trees are an irreplaceable part of the Earth’s ecology. The oxygen we breathe is produced by plants through photosynthesis. Trees are the largest plants, so they make the most oxygen. When trees are cut down and more roads are built, fewer and fewer trees are left to make oxygen. More roads carry more cars, buses, and trucks. The exhaust from these vehicles pollute the air. Many varieties of trees cannot live in heavily polluted air. They sicken and die. Trees also absorb sound and control noise pollution. Trees keep moisture in the ground by holding the soil in place to protect erosion.



   Trees have long been useful to men. Early men used wood to make tools and build fires. Later, they cut trees to build shelters. They probably never thought about protecting trees because the supply seemed to be endless. But they were wrong. There are now deserts where there were once thick forests.



We cannot just take from trees. We must do something to protect them.



(1)    on Earth: 句中的Earth是惟一的东西,一般应在前面加定冠词the。但是Earth已经大写,故省去定冠词the。

(2)    The seed lies dormant …: 句中的谓语动词lies是不及物动词,在此处作半联系动词,后面接表语dormant。

(3)    …where there were once thick forests. 句中的where为关系副词,引导一个定语从句,修饰先行词forests。其意义可以理解为:where = in which = in these thick forests。












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