Distorted Canarian Pine

June 06, 2019


Photographer: Javier Díaz Hernández 
Summary Author: Javier Díaz Hernández; Jim Foster

Shown above is a Canary Island pine (Pinus canariensis), distorted by strong prevailing winds. This specimen was observed near the municipality of Garafía, on the island of La Palma. These attractive pines are endemic to the Canary Islands, and when not bent by the wind can grow to heights approaching 100 ft (30 m).

While tree roots display positive gravitropism, growing towards the center of the Earth, trunks and stems exhibit negative gravitropism. Persistent winds from the same direction often alter the natural growth of woody plants. In areas where winds are particularly strong, tree branches may become wind-trained, so that they grow only in a leeward direction. Photo taken on May 13, 2019.