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A tree’s crown is it topmost portion. Leaves are the primary component in that crown. Those leaves use light from the sun to carry out photosynthesis.

What is photosynthesis?

That is the name that botanists have given to the reaction that takes place in the cells of each green leaf. Each of those cells contains a tiny body called a chloroplast. Chloroplasts use sunlight, carbon dioxide and water to create cellulose. Plants are made of cellulose.

A plant cannot grow, if it lacks the ability to make cellulose. Chloroplasts cannot make cellulose, if no sunlight has been able to reach that tiny intracellular body. Consequently, the leafy components in trees’ crowns seem to shy away from touching each other.

Does a leaf have a sense of touch?

No, but it can sense the amount of light that is touching it. If proximity to other leaves diminishes the amount of sunshine that hits the leaf’s chloroplasts, then the green leaf does not get close to any others in the tree’s crown.

In what other ways do trees benefit, when their leaves shy away from touching each other?

That action helps the touch-shy tree to avoid a spreading of insects among a group of crown-carrying plants. At the same time, it manages to limit the amount of spreading that could occur for a given disease.

What factors seem to trigger a display of touch-shy behavior by the leafy parts of a crown?

Certain species have a tendency to display that behavior. Leaves’ “shyness” seems most pronounced among Lodgepole pines, black mangroves, camphor trees, and eucalyptus. Still, that is not the only aspect of a tree’s features that seems to trigger a display of seeming “shyness”.

Wherever multiple species of trees exist together, Tree Service in San Jose tend to see more frequent displays of “shyness” on the part of the leafy elements in the tree’s crown. That observance underscores the significance of a fact that was mentioned above.

Nature would seem to welcome the chance to preserve the existence of variations within a collection of trees. The fact that leaves are “shy” about touching in areas with multiple species suggests that nature has found a way to preserve variation about trees.

If a leaf were to become “shy” about touching other leaves, when multiple species existed in close proximity, then there would be less chance for any one species to contaminate the carriers of a leafy crown. That contamination could take the form of disease or insects. Nature has found a way to encourage each leaf’s maintenance of its reluctance to touch other leaves. It has done that by linking the leaf’s desire for sunlight and its avoidance of the need to touch another leaf’s surface.