Document Type

Wind engineering paper

Publication details

James, KR, Haritos, N 2014, 'Branches and damping on trees in winds', in ST Smith (ed.), 23rd Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials (ACMSM23), vol. II, Byron Bay, NSW, 9-12 December, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, pp. 1011-1016. ISBN: 9780994152008.

Peer Reviewed



Understanding how natural structures such as trees survive extreme loading in nature may help develop new ideas that have application in the design of man-made structures. Natural structures like trees repeatedly endure large dynamic loads from winds and in most cases survive with little or no damage. Recent studies of trees using complex models and multi-modal analysis have indicated that the morphology of a tree and the dynamic interaction of branches can influence the damping response in winds. Branches on trees act as coupled masses and in winds develop a mass damping effect which helps distribute, reduce and dissipate the wind energy. The dynamic properties of trees and the damping effect of branches obtained from field tests are presented. The results are discussed with a view to using some principles of how slender and flexible structures survive extreme loading in nature, and applying these to the design of man-made structures.