How Much Wind Can A Tree Withstand?

One of the many things that Leonardo da Vinci turned his hand to during his life was studying trees, in particular their resistance to breakage. Today, over 500 years later, French researchers have discovered the critical speed above which trees planted in urban areas are likely to either uproot or suffer broken branches.

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They found that a windspeed of 42 metres per second (94mph) is enough to damage over half of those trees not planted in a wood or forest – be they a slender birch or a gnarly old oak. Height, circumference, variety of tree and soil type play hardly any role.

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