Wood of trees resists crosswise fracture via complex architecture.
"That construction of lengthwise tubes with relatively modest cross-connections gives wood its spectacular anisotropy…Crosswise, though, most woods resist fracture well, with the highest work of fracture of any rigid biological material; the orientational difference can be as much as a hundredfold (table 15.7). Not only can we use all kinds of intrusive fasteners such as nails and screws without initiating fracture, but a tree can be injured by a crosswise ax stroke and yet not crack in the next storm. A sawyer must cut almost all the way across the trunk before a healthy tree topples." (Vogel 2003:343)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Steven Vogel. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 580 p.
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