Have you ever wondered how trees or plants in general absorb their water? Do they drink it in from the leaves when water lands on them, or is it directly through the roots perhaps?
In this article we’ll dive into this subject and discuss the topic, do tree leaves absorb water.
Do leaves absorb water?
The short answer is yes, leaves can absorb water. This is sort of a backwards way for a tree to drink water though, even though some can do it.
At least 70 different species of trees in 7 different ecosystems have been identified as using a back to front water transport mechanism like this. This is most common in rainforests where mist forms near the treetops, making an environment suitable for this type of water consumption in trees.
What is the function of the leaves of a tree?
The main function of tree leaves is photosynthesis. They are usually broad, flat, and thin so that sunlight can reach the chloroplasts in the cells to help regulate carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.
What is the function of veins in a leaf?
The veins in leaves help to transport water, energy, and nutrients from the roots to the rest of the tree or plant. So in a way, they act very similarly to the veins in our bodies and those of other animals.
How does a tree drink water?
The typical way that a tree drinks water is through its root system. Water is absorbed in to the tiny hairlike roots and then passed along into bigger roots, into the tree itself and through to the leaves.
How much water can a tree drink?
According to usda.gov, a healthy 100-foot-tall tree has about 200,000 leaves and can absorb 11,000 gallons of water from the soil in a single growing season.
How many gallons of water does a tree drink a day?
Obviously it all depends on the size and species of tree. This blog discusses the science of tree watering, and says there are records of trees drinking 150 gallons per day when water supply is unlimited.