How Do Trees Know To Grow Up?

Trees grow up because that is where the light is, and they need the light in order to continue growing. Like most plants, trees grow from seeds and have roots, stems, and leaves.

A seed sends its roots down into the ground when it begins to grow, to take minerals and water from the earth to help it grow. The seed keeps growing deeper, sending off new root branches in all directions as it seeks the water and minerals it needs.

After the root has started, a stem begins to grow up towards the surface, towards the light. The stem carries water and minerals into the light where all three work to form branches, leaves and, eventually, fruit.

The continuous branching and then producing of leaves is necessary because it is the leaves that make food out of sunshine to nourish the tree. Without seeds, soil, water and sunshine, trees would not grow.

Sequoia trees over 4,000 years old and 300 feet high are still alive and growing in the Northwestern United States!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

5 thoughts on “How Do Trees Know To Grow Up?”

  1. I understand the concept of why trees grow up, but is it a conscious effort? Do the cells of the tree all know to grow up, or do they work in unison at the direction of a central command? The reason why I ask is because I have seen many palm trees that grow alone on the beach, and a hurricane from the past has blown it nearly over – causing the trunk to be nearly horizontal – but the tree survives and the head (or top) of the trunk eventually curves up to grow upward. This, to me, would be in response to abnormal conditions. How does the tree in this situation ‘know’ how to react accordingly? How does a tree determine what constitutes maximum efficiency if (as in this case) the tree does not have to compete for sunlight?

  2. Trees starting from a seed do not get light until breaking surface. How do the the seed know where the light is and grow towards it when the seed is buried 6 inches below ground.

  3. according to newton law of gravity “every object which are thrown in air it comes downward due to gravity.
    so why trees grown upwards instead of downwards?
    according to newton’s law trees are grown under the soil.

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