Tree Trivia Diane J DJ Lost firstname.lastname@example.org
Why don't trees just keep growing?
(don't fall asleep on this one)
If they did keep growing we would have no poems about the
birds in the treetops because we couldn't see or hear them.
And California would lose tourist revenue because its redwoods
would no longer be special. But it's not likely that trees
curb their growth strictly for our convenience.
So why isn't the typical tree a long-limbed, lumbering
Leviathan? A tree's ability to get water to its highest
branches sets a practical limit to its height. Water, as sap,
progresses up a tree because the liquid usually maintains
itself in a narrow column, the molecules of which adhere to
each other. Leaves are able to pull the tops of these columns
up, sucking in the nearest molecules like water from a hose.
But over great heights the columns break, weakening the
process, making gargantuan trees impractical and nearly
impossible to grow. That's the root of the matter.
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