Drag on Leaves

Physical knowledge of how trees respond to and change their environment is essential to understanding and predicting ecological adaptation and inform- ing strategies for future sustainable development and climate mitigation. I review mathematical models and experiments on how trees have adapted to being left out in the wind. I review tree anatomy from below ground up- wards, as a set of structures that exist in interaction with their environment and with each other part and how they may be impacted by the force of wind. I then explore existing mathematical models, the implications and limits of each as they help advance our understanding of the force of wind on trees, specifically with regards to heat transfer, tree throw, and speed reduction. I review experimental efforts and highlight a novel set of trees that exhibit a succinct set of specimens to cover the vast array of tree species and environmental conditions. I collect the many potential applications of the knowledge of tree wind interaction into a single source for the first time. The next main challenges to be addressed by these efforts are discussed.