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So we know there are a thousand types of trees with different shapes.

We have Columnar shaped trees:

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Pyramidal or Conical shaped trees:

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Weeping shaped trees:

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And we also have Round, Vased, Open-Shaped, and Umbrella shaped trees. So im not really into botany so forgive me if I butchered some phrases. But I got into a conversation about evolution at school and we switched the conversation to plants this time.

We got into the photosynthesizing cycles of leaves, Like of course we know green is the leftover color from the light spectrum, Orange and yellow colors means the plant is utilizing Carotenoids as it ages, And Anthocyanins for pink to red leaves to protect it from intense sunlight.

But we got into the topic of the different tree shapes. Since plants are living things and goes through the same process of natural selection, Is there any evolutionary reasons for their different shapes? What made some trees that way and how do they fare differently from one another?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm VTC as this is too broad, but, as usual, yes, there was evolutionary pressure for trees as well as every living thing, and think "niche" (hot/dry/windy vs wet/warm/sunny vs wet/cold/shade vs every other climate.. We have spread trees out of their niches for ornamental purposes, but environmental pressure is everything. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Aug 30 '19 at 13:16
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    $\begingroup$ Trees have to balance several different things , how fast they can grow, how much sun they can get, how much water they loose, how much wind they have to withstand, herbivores, etc. On top of that they have internal differences like different vascular systems. Given all these different forces and how much they vary from place ot place it is no wonder shapes vary. $\endgroup$ – John Aug 30 '19 at 13:27
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    $\begingroup$ You might want to look into L-systems and how simple rules (impemented at the genetic level) can cause differences in shape. And if the shape survives, it persists & evolves. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Algorithmic_Beauty_of_Plants $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Aug 30 '19 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ I disagree with close-voters -- I don't think this needs to be closed as too broad.Some comment can certainly be made about tree shapes and relating them to sun availability, wind-protection, temperature-regulation, etc. $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Sep 15 '19 at 16:03

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