Flag-Shaped Trees

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Flag-Shaped Trees


trees that resemble a flag as a result of unilateral development of the crown. Flag-shaped trees are typical of places where strong winds blow continually from one direction, for example, on seacoasts and at the upper boundaries of forests in the mountains. The crown of a flag-shaped tree is better developed on the leeward side, since the conditions for shoot growth are unfavorable on the side exposed to the wind. On the exposed side transpiration is increased, the water supply worsens, and the intensity of photosynthesis is reduced. Flag-shaped trees usually have deformed, bowed trunks that develop more vigorously on the leeward side, whereas the root system is better developed on the windward side, which helps the tree to become firmly fixed in the substratum.

On seacoasts, flag-shaped trees frequently grow alone, on the edges of forests, where the uneven development of the crowns is caused by one-sided shade. Species of pine that often grow on seaside dunes and coastal cliffs are flag-shaped, as are arborescent junipers.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.