Trees with “Crown Shyness” Deliberately Avoid Touching Each Other

You learn something new everyday.

From Robert Macfarlane’s fascinating Twitter account we learned about crown shyness, a phenomenon where the leaves and branches of individual trees don’t touch those of other trees, forming gaps in the canopy.

According to Wikipedia, there are several possible causes of this phenomenon, including the inhibition of the spread of organisms harmful to trees, damage or stunted growth of new shoots caused by the trees knocking into one another in the wind, or stunting of growth because of mutual shading. Whatever the cause, we think it’s amazing. Photos by Dag Peak from Flickr.

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