Branching design lessens chances of trees breaking by structurally reducing wind stress.

“The graceful taper of a tree trunk into branches, boughs, and twigs is so familiar that few people notice what Leonardo da Vinci observed: a tree almost always grows so that the total thickness of the branches at a particular height is equal to the thickness of the trunk…Eloy [primary investigator], a specialist in fluid mechanics, agreed that the equation had something to do with a tree’s leaves, not in how they took up water, and the force of the wind caught by the leaves as it blew…’Trees are very diverse organisms, and Christophe [Eloy] seems to have arrived at a simple and elegant physical principle that explains how branches taper in size as you go from the trunk, through the boughs, up to the twigs,’ says Marcus Roper, a mathematician at UC Berkeley. ‘It’s surprising and wonderful that no one thought of [the wind explanation] sooner.'” (Krieger 2011: 1)

Last Updated September 16, 2020