Crown shyness - when trees don't like to touch each other

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The way some of these ideas are worded makes it sound like the tree is making conscious, rational choices based on knowledge. The trees evolved this way because it conveyed some kind of advantage; maybe it’s interesting to know what that advantage was but let’s not pretend it’s a deliberate strategy.

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Man I wish society would stop putting unwelcome pressure on introverted trees. If they’d rather stay in and watch Netflix* than go out and bump leaves with other trees then we should be fine with that.

  • Suggested titles: Legends of the Fall, The Lorax, Tree of Life, and The Happening.

Shyness is nice and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
You’d like to


If it were to do with light levels, wouldn’t you expect East-West gaps to be much bigger than North-South gaps, especially in the tropics? And the collisions theory wouldn’t require the trees to physically knock bits off each other-- they might be able to detect light touches (as Venus Flytraps do).

I went out and asked some of the trees in my yard, and they say it’s a deliberate strategy, but that you have not evolved the ability to understand it, because there’s no survival advantage for you to be able to encompass the different order of conscious rationality they employ. Maybe if you root yourself for a hundred years you’ll have enough sap to understand their consciousness and intentions, they say.

Then they told me to get off their lawn.


in 2004 my dad built a pretty fancy mancave treehouse. since then i can say ive learned a bit about tree life being up in the canopy. His tree is a Cottonwood, but same appears to be true of most Deciduous Trees.

The main mechanism is attrition, the thin fresh branches and even leaves don’t hold on very well at their growth socket. so if they grow into a space that brushes a more substantial branch they pop off. and fall to the grown as the little twigglets you find under trees.

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