Botany for arborists: energy and trees
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Western Arborist. Fall 2019: 28-32.
The sun bathes the earth in waves of radiated energy. The waves of radiation occur along the electromagnetic spectrum that includes microwaves, radio waves, visible light, and infrared heat. The visible portion of that spectrum is the rainbow formed by sunlight passing through a prism. Solar energy is increasingly used to power our homes, offices, and businesses. Trees and other green plants have been using solar energy for many millions of years. Plants use that radiant energy to make and break chemical bonds that provide the energy needed for growth and survival. Much of the solar radiation that reaches the earth's atmosphere is reflected or diffused. Less than 0.1% is available for plants. Of the light that actually reaches the leaves, about 1.5% is used to fuel plant growth.
Smith, Kevin T.; Downer, A. James. 2019. Botany for arborists: energy and trees. Western Arborist. Fall 2019: 28-32.