Trees are Staying up Too Late as Well

By Gary Cutlack on at

Streetlights are causing the urban trees of the towns and cities of the planet to stay up past their bedtimes, as the natural world falls victim to the modern world's need to have an electric light illuminating everything all the time.

This is coming from tree expert Peter Wohlleben, who says there's lots of research pointing out that city trees growing near streetlights die sooner than their rural equivalents. This is because trees need to sort of sleep a bit at night too, with the artificial lights also affecting their leaf and blossom-producing schedules, further impacting upon their health.

Also, a little more controversially, Wohlleben says trees often exist as family groups that share resources and communicate of a sort with each other out there in the woods and forests, so sticking one in a city all by itself is making a poor tree into an orphan devoid of a social network. There needs to be a Facebook for trees is what it sounds like he's suggesting, although surely the light from screens would only keep them awake longer? [The Times]

Image credit: Unsplash

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