Useful information and news about wind and trees, with links to current projects, recent research results, and models of the interactions between wind and trees.
The impact of wind on trees
As trees grow, they acclimate themselves to resist the wind loading that they have experienced, with open-grown trees strengthening themselves much more than stand-grown trees (Ref 1) . During storms, wind loads can exceed the strength that has developed in tree stems and root systems, and trees will either uproot or their stems will break.
Windstorms disrupt forest management planning and the supply of timber, threaten public safety, and damage infrastructure including roads, rail links and power supplies. Changes in forest structure that result from windthrow, the associated addition of woody material to the soil, and mixing of soil profiles all have long-lasting ecological consequences.
Ref 1: Mitchell S, Moore J, Peltola H, Peterson C and Ruel J-C. (2008). Wind and Trees Special Issue Forestry 81: i-ii.
International wind and trees research
Understanding the interactions of aerodynamic, mechanical, biological and ecological processes that are involved in the responses of trees to the wind environment is necessarily an interdisciplinary and collaborative process.
The study of wind damage to trees and forests, as well as the effects of the wind on tree development and ecology, is the focus of an interdisciplinary group of researchers from around the world. The ‘Wind and Trees’ group is linked under the umbrella of IUFRO unit 8.03.06 “Impact of wind on forests”. The group collaborates in research projects and knowledge transfer, and organises conferences and workshops.