Although they appear fragile, palms are more resistant compared to broadleaf trees and other conifers such as pines.
When the hurricane hits land, it comes with floods, strong winds and devastating waves, rain and water take over the streets. Flying houses are beginning to be seen and large trees are falling from the force of the storm, but the palm trees are standing firm.
The structure of palm trees works in a similar way to buildings designed against earthquakes. It is not a matter of seeking greater stiffness to counteract tremors or strong winds, but rather of absorbing energy through elasticity.
Trees are masters of engineering – Mother Nature really does have a grip on things, and this is especially true with the tall, slender members of the botanical family Arecaceae. Experts explain that palm trees have three distinctive characteristics that help them survive the punishing conditions of hurricanes and cyclones, and even tsunamis.
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Palms have quite dense roots
They sacrifice size for quantity. Instead of a few large roots anchored in the ground, palms produce a multitude of smaller roots that extend into the upper layers of the soil, as opposed to having only a few very strong roots. This is especially helpful when growing in sand. By increasing the amount of roots they deposit, palms can cling to a greater volume of soil and therefore have a much heavier base. This keeps them unemployed in all but the worst conditions.
A tangled log
The trunk of a pine or oak grows in a radial pattern; Annual rings effectively form a series of hollow cylinders one inside the other. Meanwhile, the stem of a palm tree is made of many small bundles of woody material, which experts likens to bundles of wires inside a telephone cable. Experts say:
Cylinder focus provides great weight bearing strength (compressive strength) which means that an oak trunk can support a heavy weight of branches, but limited flexibility compared to beam focus, which allows the Palm stem will bend at 40 or 50 degrees without breaking.
Palm trees break in extreme conditions, but are much tougher in this regard than other trees.
To better understand the adaptations of the palm, its place in the evolutionary tree must first be considered. Palms are monocots and have more in common with grasses than with trees such as oaks or pines. Its wood evolved independently of other tree species. Take a look at a palm stump. Instead of rings, you will see a dense structure of straws that resemble the cross section of a telephone wire. This is because palms do not produce secondary xylem tissues that give the trees their rings. This makes them much more flexible than their dicot neighbors. While oak and maple forests are very good at supporting a lot of branching, it is considerably stiffer than that of palms. Palms forgo heavy branches for large leaves and therefore invest more in flexibility.
Very smart leaves
Although most trees depend on their beautiful canopy of branches, twigs, and leaves to spread out and absorb as much sunlight as possible, the canopy can also absorb a lot of wind and water. In a big storm, the canopy can act like a ship’s sail and drag the individual; the branches can be easily cut as well as the detachment of the entire canopy.
In the meantime, think of a palm tree. They don’t have widely spreading branches, but rather huge leaves with a flexible, central spine, like huge feathers, Metcalfe notes. In good weather, the fronds spread out and form a thin canopy, but in cases of strong wind and water … what do the fronds do? Bend! With less resistance against the elements, they are much more likely to pass through intact. Of course, some leaves can suffer and palm debris is part of the storm cleanup, but as Metcalfe writes of lost leaves, ‘they are much’ cheaper ‘to replace the palm than a full canopy of branches.
Of course, these are pretty broad generalizations. Not all palms have evolved in response to such punitive weather events. Research has shown that such adaptations are more prevalent in palms growing in places like the Caribbean than in palms growing in the rainforests of South America. Still, its phylogenetic history has stood the test of time and will continue to do so for quite a while longer.
Pruning is an important section in the care of plants, trees and shrubs as it helps them stay strong and alive, and favors their development. The important thing is to know what is the most appropriate and recommended pruning technique and the time to do it.
We can find 4 types of pruning: cleaning, training, maintenance and renewal.
Cleaning pruning: its main objective is the elimination of elements and formations that are not desirable in the plants, trees and shrubs. Therefore, branches or parts of plants that are dead, dry, diseased or damaged are removed. Branches poorly oriented or entangling the crown; root, neck or trunk sprouts of the foot. It is important to bear in mind that this type of pruning is necessary for all types of plants or trees and can be done at any time of the year. They should be an ongoing habit as they are an essential part of normal garden maintenance.
Training pruning: its main objective is to achieve a certain shape of the plant or fruit tree.
Maintenance pruning: its main objective is to keep non-fruit plant species in good condition, as well as to maintain plant shapes.
Renewal or rejuvenation pruning: its main objective is to remove aging parts or elements from the tree or shrub, to replace them with new and younger ones.
To prune you have to make clean cuts, so we must use cutting tools such as one-handed pruning shears or hammer scissors, which are longer and can be used with both hands. Later we must protect the pruning cuts to prevent the entry of fungi and diseases into the plant. To protect pruning cuts, injuries caused by hail, frost, broken branches in trees and shrubs. Here at Perth Tree Services we help you protect the health of nearby trees and vegetation with our superior mulching services in Perth.