Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Coconut Tree Lean
Name: Steve
Grade: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A

Why do Coconut trees always seem to lean towards the sea?

It's not so much leaning towards the sea, the tree is leaning in the direction of the prevailing winds.

This is not unique to coconut trees, but one needs several "ingredients" to make the effect clearly visible. They are: 1. preferably a tall tree with a narrow flexible trunk to withstand occasional high winds (storms). Short "stubby" trees tend to recover to their wind-less shape. Trees whose trunk is large compared to its height tend not to "give" to the prevailing winds, just because of the mechanics. 2. A climate/location where there is a prevailing unobstructed wind direction and proper growth conditions for the coconut tree (Pacific island).

There may be other factors but these are some of the major reasons.

Vince Calder

Click here to return to the Botany Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory