July 1 - Crown Shyness!

Posted on July 1, 2020

Have you heard that some kinds of trees are very considerate of their neighbors? That they work together with trees of their own and other species to form a full canopy and yet not touch one another?

In other words, in some forests there is almost an entire rooftop of branches and leaves, but the full-grown trees don't QUITE touch one another. Looking up, you can see channel-like gaps of sky between the trees.

So strange! But cool!

This tendency of some trees to form a full canopy with narrow gaps between trees is called "crown shyness." It was described in an article in The American Midland Naturalist in July of 1984.

Whether you are looking upwards or downwards on examples of crown shyness, it looks a bit like a crazy-quilt forest!

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