UKTC Archive

RE: the plasticity of oak trees

Subject: RE: the plasticity of oak trees
From: Jim Quaife
Date: Jun 29 2020 13:20:40
Rupert,
The pictures are interesting - thank you. I was instructed in a case where 
some 300 metres of foreshore had cut back the edge of a woodland by tidal 
erosion.  The oaks were in various stages of root system exposure and in 
several instance the tree was supported by roots going straight back to the 
eroded face.  Some had dropped, others were defying the law of gravity!  Part 
of my investigations led to the discovery of an unpublished paper upon the 
effect of a coastal environment on oak wood structure. The bottom line is 
that salinity does not compromise the normal adaptive growth, nor the 
strength of the wood, although there are some subtle differences between 
windward and leeward cellular characteristics.
The adaptive growth of trees is a wonder and the upright stance of stems with 
the development of asymmetric root support is a commonly seen adaptation of 
trees which were partly blown in the '87 storm, and the stems, some of 
significant diameter, have straightened up of over the years (decades!).
I'm not sure I'd use the term 'plasticity' over 'growth adaptation' though.
Jim 

-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info 
[mailto:uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info] On Behalf Of Rupert Baker
Sent: 28 June 2020 12:01
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: the plasticity of oak trees

Dear All,

I was intrigued by a series of oak trees growing along the edge of a tidal
estuary.  I have known these trees since I was a child, but never really
thought about what I was looking at.  However, looking at them through an
arborists eyes, they are very strange indeed; they have slumped under their
wight/gravitational load, as the bank has been eroded beneath them, and
changed shape; the oldest now have their bases some 3m below the original
level; the trees' buttresses and root systems changing shape under load,
whilst keeping the trees upright.

I'm hoping that this time you will be able to view the photos in this flickr
album I've set up for the purpose; the photos are described 1,2 etc with
brief descriptions.

See link below.

 Trees are a constant surprise!

Atb

Rupert

 

https://www.flickr.com/gp/189086679@N02/40109G




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