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Trees: Magnificent Structures of the Natural World

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Trees: Magnificent Structures of the Natural World

Trees are perhaps the most familiar of all organisms. They grow all around us, in towns as well as in the countryside, and most people can recognise a few species. Not only are trees the largest organisms that have ever lived—some giant redwoods are ten times heavier than a full-grown blue whale—but they have also dominated dry land for over 300 million years, far longer than the dinosaurs or mammals. In this seminar Roland Ennos, lecturer in biomechanics at the University of Manchester and author of Trees, investigates the structure of trees; how they are built and how they work. By looking at trees as living organisms, struggling for survival in a hostile world, we can start to appreciate not only their beauty, but also the sheer ingenuity of their structures and lifestyles.
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