From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Saturday, May 21, 2016

'Sleepy' trees: When the bough droops

Finnish Birch Trees   (Photo by Tiia Monto)
When the bough breaks, baby may experience a rude awakening.  But when the bough droops, baby and tree may remain asleep.

Humans sleep, animals sleep, but do trees nap also?  Research indicates that they very well might.  After all, photosynthesis is hard work.  When night falls, and light-sensitive tasks must be temporarily halted, trees can seize
the opportunity to hang their weary branches in peaceful repose.

Not needing to stretch upward during this interval of darkness, sampled birch trees instead “appeared to relax, or droop, their branches at the tips by as much as four inches.”  Other factors, such as wind and rain, were ruled out during these measurements. 

These movements occur nightly.  Then just before dawn, branches begin angling back upward.  Such recurrences suggest that trees are guided by an “internal circadian clock.”


Copyright May 21, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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