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Crown Shyness Phenomenon Shows Trees “Just Know”
Next time you’re in the forest, just look up. What you might find is a kind of ‘communication dance’ the trees are involved in. They kinda just “know” when to let the other tree “have their space.” Don’t you wish humans were more like this? Well, this is a curious phenomenon known as crown shyness.
Crown shyness is a naturally occurring phenomenon in some tree species where the uppermost branches in a forest canopy avoid touching one another. The visual effect is striking as it creates clearly defined borders akin to cracks or rivers in the sky when viewed from below.
Although the phenomenon was first observed in the 1920s, scientists have yet to reach a consensus on what causes it.
According to Wikipedia, it might simply be caused by the trees rubbing against one another, although signs also point to more active causes such as a preventative measure against shading (optimizing light exposure for photosynthesis) or even as a deterrent for the spread of harmful insects.