Using a Truncated Tree Trunk to Find Direction The sides that are the farthest apart are on the south side (owing to greater sunlight and growth) while the sides that are closer together are on the north side. Keep in mind that the scenario will be the reverse in the Southern Hemisphere. Using this technique, you can determine the direction that a tree grows even if its trunk has been cut off at the base.
Trees have growing tips at the end of their branches called "nodes". During each season of its life, every tree will grow toward one of these tips. If you were to follow the branch that is growing now, it would lead straight up towards the sky. The direction that it goes is called its "growth habit."
Some trees tend to grow in one direction, while others grow in several. For example, a southern pine tree grows more toward the west than the east. A maple grows almost vertically upward. A sycamore grows nearly horizontally. Knowing the growth habit of a tree can help you identify which way it is leaning if it is standing by itself instead of in a forest. Trees that are near their center of mass will lean toward the direction that their roots go. That's why trees that grow in single file lines along a street or driveway are usually leaning toward the road. Their roots go in one direction, so they will all lean the same way.
Position yourself with your legs apart and your back to the tree. Bend down and stare at the tree between your legs while keeping your legs straight. Move backwards or forwards such that the top of the tree is just visible between your legs. The distance between your feet and the tree trunk should be measured. This is the height of the tree.
Trees have various terms used for different parts of the tree to distinguish them by function or material. For example, the lowest part of the tree is called the stump because it's the remaining part after the main body of the tree has been harvested. The term "trunk" is used to describe the main stem of the tree. Each branch off the trunk is called a "stem." Finally, the highest part of the tree is called the crown because it looks like a crown when viewed from the side.
Height is important because it determines how high food can reach before it becomes too heavy for the branches to support. If the tree is very tall then it may require a tower to hold its buckets full of fruit. Otherwise, it might not produce any fruit at all!
Trees need space to grow. They use their branches to reach for the light and air that help them thrive. If they are restricted on one side only then they will tend to grow toward the open space. This is why trees planted in a row often end up leaning against each other.
This forms patterns on the bark of the trees that we may use to navigate our way around. There are a surprising number of ways for determining direction that include observing tree bark. However, many of them concentrate on the creatures that develop on the surface of the bark, such as mosses or lichens, rather than the bark itself.
For example, some species of pine have smooth bark that does not grow in even layers, instead forming checks and circles and sometimes including holes where woody tissue has been removed by insects. Each year, the outer layer of bark peels away to reveal a lighter color underneath. The rate at which this happens varies depending on the type of pine and the age of the tree. Heavy snowfall will cover these checkmarks with its white coating, while rain and wind break the circleliness of the bark of deciduous trees. Even more remarkable, some species of oak produce distinct markings that serve the same purpose. Their barks vary in color from light to dark, causing observers to believe there is no single uniform tone until they touch the tree. Beneath this patchwork of colors and textures, each tree has the potential to provide directional guidance.
Trees have three main functions in human culture: they provide us with food, fuel for heat and power, and material for construction. In order for trees to fulfill these roles they need to grow into large sizes. Therefore, they must attract attention to themselves by making their bark look interesting.