Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Bent


We are on 3rd Street, downtown Naples, only about 200 feet from the beach, on the right.

I am telling you this for a reason. Hard as I try, I cannot find an explanation as to why do palm trees lean at 45-degree angle in the vicinity of the ocean?

There is nothing in the nature of a palm tree that makes it lean towards the water. Here are a couple of suggestions I found online:

1. The ground is lower towards the ocean, so the tree started leaning as the seed leaned when it germinated.
2. The prevailing winds bent the trunk.

I'm not totally convinced...So this time I turn to you, my learned visitors - do you have an explanation for this sloping phenomenon?

21 comments:

Kate said...

I am so tired from running around the globe on May 1st, that I can't think straight, let alone try to figure out why palm trees are not straight!!

Moi said...

Acute observation, Isabella.....(get the pun!!! get the pun!!! ) :DDD
and i shall leave the reasoning to more erudite readers of the blog ..:)

Seda said...

In Hawaii, palm tress by the beach were just like these ones. I don't know the logical reason but always like to think that palm tress and ocean are in love and trying to reach each other...
:)

angela said...

They're obviously longing to be on the beach...
We have a sea and palm trees but I can't say I've noticed it here...
Looking forward to reading the other replies:)
Angela

Glenn Standish said...

Hi Isabella, I would say its either due to the winds (do you ever get hurricanes where you are?!) or possibly the salt air may have an affect on the growth pattern of the palm trees. Just a wild guess!

Frank said...

This is easy. Since all the trees are the same height and all bent the same way, obviously back when they were young a clumsy Mastadon walked by and squashed them flat. They only partly sprang back.
See, I told you it was easy :-)

Abraham Lincoln said...

Palms are like people. In fact all plants have likes and displikes. I remember a Russian experiment where two idential plants were put in a room together. The one was wired up to a polygraph machine. They closed the doors and left the two plants together. Then a man walked into the room and grabbed the plant not wired up and tore it to shreds. The other plant recorded its apprehension and morbid fears by making the polygraph needle go nuts like an earthquake had struck. The other part is two plants were put into sound proof rooms. One also played background music of a classical nature. The other played hard rock.

The classical music plant prospered and grew and the hard rock plant whithered and nearly died. Honest.

I have long heard and known that plants tend to go towards the sounds and moisture they like. The ocean humidity and the ocean sounds are attracting the palms.

This is my guess and is based on what little I think I know about plant life.

Fabrizio ikol22 said...

Uhm maybe 'cause on the beach there are some pretty girls? (just kidding. lol)

Zsolt said...

well, being there I think I would also lean towards the water:) running in 45 degree angle:)

alice said...

Maybe have they been planted not deep enough?

Dsole said...

mmm.... I can only think about the wind... but it's such an interesting pic!
It would be funny that the flag's pole would be 45 degree angled too! ;)

ruth said...

When they get tall, the coconuts get heavy and pull them over.

And why are they leaning away from the beach in your photo (you said the beach is to the right)?

And why is the flagpole not leaning?

So many questions.

Jilly said...

In Australia - in Queensland - the palms bent just as you describe. Wind and humidity? I don't know but I love it - they look so beautiful like that.

Maybe they are gay trees? Bent means gay in British slang - or did when I was young. Goodness knows why?

J x

RamblingRound said...

Interesting. But I have never noticed palms leaning this way on Alabama's gulf coast. I will look again next time I go.

tfangel said...

I know they don't have very deep roots, but they just look so tired leaning that way. Maybe they just want to go for a swim? ;)

Chris & Deb said...

My goodness I feel as though I've been away for weeks! Is it my imagination or are there suddenly about 5,000 Daily Photo blogs??? It's getting harder and harder to make the rounds each day!
Yet another beautiful photo today! Love all the flowers, and I'm a big sucker for towering palm trees.
Hope to be back tomorrow!

Nathalie said...

I fell in love with Abe's explanation of coconut trees leaning towards the sound they love.

But just like Ruth I am confused to read that the beach is on the right. Are they leaning AWAY from the beach rather than towards it???? Can you please clarify?

I'll come back to check your answer because it's a topic we actually discussed with my friends in Noumea when I was there last weekend. I need an answer!!!
Cheers!

isabella said...

Many plausible and amusing answers!

But Nathalie, the teacher ;-), demands an explanation so here's what I came up with: The palms are planted shallow, but that would make all of them lean, which is not so.
I believe that during a hurricane (we got hit by a couple of them) the floods loosened the roots and then the wind bent the trunk. How's that?

PS I did not explain myself correctly - the beach is in the foreground (to the right where I was standing at the time ;-)

PPS Nathalie's comment posted 10 times (had to erase 9 of them!) - isn't that a weird glitch?

JAM said...

Personally, I'd go with the prevailing wind theory. I see whole parcels of land where every tree, palm or pine, leans away from the ocean. There are some really amazing trees in this area that have been bent into incredible contortions.

Kuanyin said...

Genius's All! :-)

Baubrey said...

I recently moved to California from the midwest and immediately noticed this phenomenon. Aside from not drinking their V8, why the heck does this happen? I've asked a couple of friends here and most have said that they don't know. I assumed it had to do with moisture, but one friend suggested that: due to the fact that the ocean is lower than the ground, especially as you move inland, palm trees get more sun exposure from the direction of the ocean, since the land doesn't get in the way as much on that side. I propose that to test this, we need to move from this coastal phenomenon and observe trees growing on the Eastern or Western sides of a hill. A Northern or Southern tree would get even sun exposure from east and west and should stand straight, right? An eastern tree would slant east away from the hill and a western tree would slant west away from the hill.

That said, I think it's the water.