Consequences of the fractal architecture of trees on their structural measures Academic Article uri icon


  • While the mechanics of trees are well known, a systematic and comprehensive study of the mechanical consequences of a tree's fractal structure has been lacking. Here, we analyze the structure of botanical trees using computer modeling and show that many relevant measures of support throughout all the branches of a tree follow specific patterns which can be described by characteristic probability distributions and well-defined spatial relationships. Most notably, moments, forces, and axial and shear stresses throughout the different branches all exhibit power-law distributions. These results suggest a new approach to the study of the mechanics of trees, one accounting for the implications of the above results.

author list (cited authors)

  • Pluciński, M., Pluciński, S., & Rodríguez-Iturbe, I.

citation count

  • 5

publication date

  • November 2007