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    Author(s): Alex L. Shigo
    Date: 1985
    Source: Scientific American. 152 (4): 96-103.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)


    Trees have a spectacular survival record. Over a period of more than 400 million years they have evolved as the tallest, most massive and longest-lived organisms ever to inhabit the earth. Yet trees lack a means of defense that almost every animal has: trees cannot move away from destructive forces. Because they cannot move, all types of living and nonliving enemies—fire, storms, microorganisms, insects, other animals and later man—have wounded them throughout their history. Trees have survived because their evolution has made them into highly compartmented organisms; that is, they wall off injured and infected wood.

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    Shigo, Alex L. 1985. Compartmentalization of decay in trees. Scientific American. 152 (4): 96-103.

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