Tree orientation?

kunde001 at kunde001 at
Wed Jun 7 10:32:30 EST 1995

On 6 Jun 1995 09:39:27 -0400, 
Paul Stewart  <stewart at> wrote:

>asalter at (Adrian Salter) writes: 
>>I'm looking for information about marking field grown 
>>trees to indicate the north facing side. Why is it done? 
>>Thanks, > >Adrian
>        Funny, just yesterday I heard about this too, on a phone-in radio 
>show out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Apparently, according to this forester 
>(whose name I didn't catch...sorry) trees do not expend energy 
>symetrically  on all sides. The south facing side absorbs more sun energy 
>and so needs to feed itself as well as the less nourished north side. 
>Root growth and food storage follow this trend, and if the tree is 
>replanted out of this orientation it takes time and energy to adapt that 
>it could use growing and fending off disease, etc. That was the gist of 
>what they said. Anyone else know more detail on this? Is it true for 
>other plants as well? For instance ginseng is often transplanted each 
>year, and seedling starts from greenhouses are planted out this time of 
>year. Would faster establishment and growth result from keeping the 
>original orientation when transplanting?
>ABIOGEN c/o Paul Stewart
>RR #2 Vernon Bridge
>Prince Edward Island
>stewart at
It is generally thought that tree produce more roots on the north side due 
to higher soil moisture contents there.  The leaves shade soil on north 
side keeping moisture content higher there. Soil moisture content is often 
the limiting factor for tree growth.  With ample available water on the 
north side roots put on more growth than on the south side which dries out 
more quickly during dry spells.  I suppose south of the equator this 
phenomenon would be reversed.  Any observations from down under?

Kunde Co. Consulting Foresters
Roseville, MN USA

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