Have you ever wondered how plants and trees know which way is up? Even when they are growing on the side of a steep hill trees still manage to point themselves to the sky.
All plants have a way to interpret gravity and use that sense to send their roots downward and their branches upward. In the top of new shoot, and in the bottom of a root, a cluster of cells are found that are continually dividing and therefore responsible for new growth. Inside these cells are miniature starch granules which are affected by gravity. These starch granules will always sit in the bottom of the cell, so the cell knows which way is down.

Using auxin, a plant hormone, and a chain of signals, the dividing cells continually respond to this information from the starch granule and adjust their direction of growth to conform to their understanding of gravity. The root cells sending themselves in the direction of gravity and the shoot cells away from it.

This phenomenon is known as gravitropism.

This theory was tested in space by astronaut Andre Kuipers. He took seedlings out to space to see which direction they would grow. Without consistent gravity to guide them the little plants started shooting off in every direction.

You might have noticed this happen with seedlings of your own. If you have ever had a pot tip over unnoticed, by the time you can adjust the plant, it may have already adjusted itself and started growing sideways and up towards the sky.

So the lesson from all this is that plants are quite intelligent, and they will respond to instructions and guidance. Our experienced arborists are well familiar with the little quirks of various species of trees and can take good care of your unwieldly backyard tree with a little care and maintenance. We offer free quotes and advice on any tree that needs some attention or a vigorous haircut. Give us a call.