How much heavier do deciduous trees get when they grow leaves in the summer?

29 July 2007

Question

How much heavier do deciduous trees get when they grow leaves in the summer?

Answer

There are 177 000 leaves on a 48 foot Maple tree which has an area of about 1/6th of an acre - a lot of leaf area. A leaf weighs between 1 and 5g where 5g is for a big leaf like a horse chestnut so if you multiply 5g by 177 000 you get about 1 tonne, about the same as a small family car, not a huge weight as the wood of the tree will weigh a lot more than this. The big problem that leaves pose is their surface area because they trap wind the means that the wind exerts a big force on the tree which is much more difficult to deal with than their actual weight.

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