To me this sounds like a silly question.
Because I’d no more expect the moon’s gravity to affect trees than it affects the water in a pond or swimming pool.
If the moon doesn’t elicit tidal effects in such small bodies of water, then why would its gravity affect trees?
But, largely due to so-called “peasant beliefs” passed down through the ages, there are some who are convinced that the moon’s gravity does indeed have measurable effects on trees.
Do the Tides Correlate with Tree Rhythms?
This, and other lunar effects on trees, was discussed by Zurcher in a subsequent publication (see ref. 1 below).
In 2000, a another team of scientists provided evidence against Zurcher’s conclusions (see ref. 2 below).
From the physics of gravity explained by a fellow by the name of Isaac Newton, it seems obvious that the moon’s gravity is too weak, the distance from Earth to moon too large, and even a giant Sequoia’s mass is too small for the moon to have any significant gravitational effect on trees.
But the notion simply won’t die.
So you, dear reader, weigh the evidence – even do the calculation – and be the judge.
1. Zurcher, E. (1999) “Lunar Rhythms In Forestry Traditions – Lunar-Correlated Phenomena In Tree Biology And Wood Properties .” Earth, Moon, and Planets vol. 85-86, pp. 463-478. (PDF)
2. Vesala, T., et al. (2000) “Do tree rings shrink and swell with the tides?” Tree Physiology vol. 20, pp. 633-635. (PDF)
Bottom Line: Despite what we know about the laws of gravity and even direct scientific evidence to the contrary, some still believe that the moon affects trees as it does the tides. Oh well. Sigh.
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