Trees Show “Crown Shyness”- A Phenomenon That Looks Like They’re Social Distancing

Have you ever looked up while strolling through certain forests and saw trees making a pattern without touching themselves? As if they are maintaining social distance. Something like this…

Dag Peak

This phenomenon is known as ‘crown shyness’–– Where the uppermost branches of trees of certain species (like eucalyptus, Sitka spruce, and Japanese larch) don’t touch one another forming crack-like gaps in the tree canopy. Crown shyness doesn’t happen always, and scientists are not sure why it happens at all.

But whatever the reason is behind this captivating phenomenon, one thing is sure out of this: crown shyness is one hell of a photogenic phenomenon! See it yourself.

Crown shyness phenomenon

Samuel Counil

Crown Shyness


Canopy shyness


Trees not meeting


Crown shyness-2




Crown shyness-1


While there is no proven theory why crown shyness happens, several hypotheses have been presented by numerous scientists. One possibility is that it occurs when the branches of trees, particularly those in areas with high winds, collide with each other. Another explanation is that it enables the perennial plants to receive optimal light for photosynthesis. Also, the most prominent theory is that the gaps prevent the proliferation of invasive insects.

Also Read: 12 Beautiful Trees In The World That Will Leave You In Awe Of Nature