Tree Architecture:

In stands with a fixed spacing, trees have well known develop patterns as illustrated in these diagrams from Forest Stand Dynamics (Oliver, 1996). Trees tend to have the following priority for the allocation of photosynthate as:

  1. Maintenance respiration
  2. Fine roots
  3. Flowers and seeds
  4. Primary growth (height growth and branch extension)
  5. Secondary growth (diameter growth and branch thickening)
  6. Disease and insect defense

With this in mind as the tree is short on photosynthates to meet all these needs, the items at the bottom of this list are not fully supplied. Defense against pathogens is the first thing lost in stressed trees. Notice that trees will continue in height growth with little or no diameter growth.

Created: January 21, 2003
by David R. Larsen, Copyright 2003 - 2011
Last Updated: January 28, 2011