Trees also have ways of dealing with stress by using defense mechanisms to protect themselves. These techniques vary from tree to tree and can be anything from changes in leaf size or color to producing chemicals to repel insects. Trees also protect themselves from excessive sunlight by using shade. This article will discuss several ways trees fight against stress and methods they use to protect themselves from the elements.
Defoliation is the process of removing leaves from a plant. This adaptation method is useful in trees that normally shed their leaves in the fall, such as maple and oak. The process is used as a tool for removing damaged or sick leaves but can also be used to reduce damage by wind or cutting off sunlight to control pollution and excessive moisture. Defoliation helps trees maintain optimal growth, as the structure of leaves requires nutrients and sunlight for photosynthesis.
Shading is a technique that allows for planting trees on rooftops, balconies, and yards to decrease evaporation from the air and prevent excessive solar radiation. The process of shading is fairly simple, as it simply takes sunlight away from the plants that are receiving it. Trees are often planted near buildings, and their roots can enter through soil cracks if planted too near a building.
Pollen, carried in insects’ bodily secretions, is used by trees to form ideal fruit viable seeds by competing with other species of plants. This method has been used extensively by apple and peach trees to improve their growth, as they produce more flowers within their lifetime than similar trees. Pollen is also used as a breeding mechanism to protect tree species from extinction by cross-pollination with other trees of the same species.
Branching is a method that can be used to increase the amount of space within the canopy of a tree, as well as increase sunlight for photosynthesis. The process involves splitting off from an existing branch or putting out a new branch from an already existing one. Branches are often used to cover up any damaged or broken areas of bark and make the tree look more attractive, even if they are not used for anything at all.
When insects attack trees, they often respond by secreting chemicals to repel them. This process can be used to protect trees from insects that are harmful to the environment, such as leaf-eating caterpillars, but it can also help in creating a more favorable environment for their species of plants. The production of these chemicals is usually controlled by hormones produced within the tree and will fluctuate depending on the type of insect being attacked and the location.
Trees produce resin for several reasons, but it is typically used to seal wounds and prevent infection from other insects. Resins are typically controlled by hormones that are released in response to stress and will appear as a sticky liquid that can be used to protect the tree from other organisms. The process can also lead to further tree growth if it can regrow surrounding tissues by applying polyphenols.
Trees can use wind as a defense mechanism in two ways. The tree can first resist wind by using root structures to push itself away from the fastest moving parts of leafless branches or the trunk to reduce damage caused by wind. Wind also influences the type of leaves produced by a tree and can be used to direct branches to grow in areas with less wind.
In conclusion, trees adapt in many different and unique ways to protect themselves from environmental stress. These techniques help trees to sustain optimum growth, as well as avoid extinction due to inbreeding.