How Trees Allocate Their Resources


Most people know that tress and plants perform photosynthesis. This is the process of taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, water, and solar energy; then converting them to glucose (aka photosynthates).


These photosynthates are used in a specific manner that best suits the tree.


When one thinks of a really big old tree they might think of how tall it is or how wide it is. In actuality, height and girth are relatively low priorities for a tree.


Allocation of photosynthates:

1) Maintaining Respiration

2) Production of Leaves & Fine Root Hairs

3) Flower & Seed Production

4) Primary Growth

5) Adding Girth & Resistances




1)       Maintaining respiration is a trees number one priority.

Thus a tree will use up most of its daily photosynthates on breathing. Trees are made up of living cells: sapwood, leaves, and roots; and nonliving tissues: heartwood and bark.

2)       Production of leaves and fine root hairs would be the second thing a tree would use its photosynthates on. Leaves are the ones performing photosynthesis, thus producing photosynthates which the tree uses to grow.

New fine roots are also important because they bring in water and nutrients.


3)       The next allocation of photosynthates would be to flower and seed production. Reproducing is the life long goal of all living things. Thus, after necessities are out of the way, the tree can now plan for the future.

4)       The tree will now allocate its photosynthates to primary growth. Primary growth is terminal and lateral branching. This can only happen after a tree has ensured its survival. It will now compete from space above and below ground.


5)       If there are any photosynthates left over the tree will use them to add girth and defense mechanisms to aid in survival. Although society believes that girth is the most important characteristic for a tree (economically) it is actually the tree’s lowest priority for the allocation of photosynthates.


When trees grow there are many factors that are taken into consideration: light temperature, oxygen, precipitation, amount of nutrients, disturbance and so forth.


Photosynthesis is dependent on temperature. Ideal temperature ranges are between 45 ° F and 65 °F.

Many trees have tolerances. For instance pine species are shade intolerant, and thus must grow tall and fast win the race for the sun.  Many oak species can survive in the understory because they are shade tolerant.

Trees grow up and out. For instant if you hammer a nail in a tree at 4 ft and the tree grows 3 ft a year. In 5 years where will that nail be?  







Would the nail be at 19 ft ?

3 ft/yr x 5 yrs + the 4 original ft.

No! The nail would still be at 4 ft since the tree grows from the terminal bud up. Although, your nail might get covered up by added girth.



Ultimately trees allocate there resources in accordance to what they need, unfortunately, that’s not always what people want from their landscapes.



Author: Ashley Tyer



“Although I’ve had many… Gods knows I’ll have more…”














Funny Things My Daughter Does

Last Tuesday my mother and step father took my sister to Texas Cattle Company for her free birthday steak, my daughter attended as well. My daughter’s name is Laurel-Mae Tyer. She is three years old, head strong, outspoken, and down right to the point.

Mom: Debbie

Step dad: Ken

Sister: Jessica

Daughter: Laurel-Mae

Laurel-Mae & Mommy

The evening all started when my mother picked Laurel-mae up from day care. Laurel-Mae had a craft in one hand and demanded that my mother fill up a Styrofoam cup with water before they left. As they walked out the door my mother went to hold her hand to go into the parking lot, she announced and pulled away… “Nooo grandma my hands are full”. Ohhh anything to get out of holding a grown-ups hand.

Later on they arrived at Texas Cattle Company, the server brought out 3 salads.  Laurel-mae said very loudly, “where is my salad?” Jessica and my mother had to share their salads with her on her bread plate.  It was a house salad and I am surprised she liked it.  

After salads it took a long time for the meal to arrive.  The server came to fill the drinks and as he walked away she very loudly asked him “where is my macamoni and cheese?”  He said,” I am working on it”.  Everyone chuckled.



After dinner the server put all of the leftovers in individual boxes; she wailed when he took her plate.   Then when he gave it back to her in a box he said, “here you go sweetheart”.  No one thought anything of it; Laurel-mae however, scrunched up her face and said, “he called me sweetheart”.   Everyone roared it was too funny.

Later the server was talking back and forth with Ken and Jessica.
His last statement was “we killed all the cows”.  Laurel-mae yells out, “You Killed All the Cows?”

They decided it was time to go; but they sure did have fun.

Kids really do say the darndest things! Do you have any stories of your own?


Author: Ashley Tyer

“Although I’ve heard many… Gods knows I’ll hear more…”

Worst lie you ever told

The worst lie I ever told was a pretty bad one, but don’t judge me too harshly I was only five.

This lie sticks out the most in my mind because I almost hurt someone who cared about me, also because my parents LOVE to tell EVERYONE this story over and over.

It was midway through my kindergarten year at Skies Elementary; I was participating in free time. Here we had different stations that kids could go to and play until the bell would ring. This was a time to laugh, hang out and socialize with friends.


The kids in my class were talking about the movie Forest Gump that they saw at home. They were quoting lines and talking about the plot of the movie. “Life is like a box of chocolate”and so forth. That night I went home and I started talking about the movie telling my parents what it was about and quoting lines in the movie. Needless to say my parents flipped out, “where did you hear those things”? So I told them that I watched the movie in class with my teacher Mrs. Clanton. I have no recollection of why I answered the way I did, it just came out. Who really knows how the mind of a five year old works anyways? I guess I thought my parents would hear my response and move on. Since I hadn’t watched the movie and I was not old enough to understand, I did not realize the situation I was presenting.


My parents called the principle at once, urging that disciplinary measures be taken. My parents told the principle that the movie was inappropriate for children and it had no place in the learning environment at any age. Of course the principle agreed. A conference was held between my parents, the principle, the teacher, and myself. After much debate and arguing, although I was oblivious to what was going on; the truth finally prevailed. I told them that several kids in the class had been discussing it, I heard them, and then repeated the conversations at home. Due to my age, recklessness, and my inattention, I almost cost my teacher her job.


 I was in middle school before I finally watched the movie. I was really excited and felt like I was doing something wrong. After the film ended I was flabbergasted, the movie was not explicit or bad. I thought I was being a rebel and watching it behind my parents back. When I told them I had watched the movie they didn’t seem to care at all. I was dumbfounded. That’s when they explained to me that I was just too young to watch the film at five years old. It was violent, used profanity, and would raise to many questions in the mind of a five year old. I completely agree with them since I now have children of my own.

Forest Gump is rated PG-13 for sex sense, drugs, alcohol, violence, and some profanity.



Your Turn! Tell others about the worst lie you ever told. Who did it affect? What was the end result?

Author: Ashley Tyer



“Although I’ve told many… Gods knows I’ll tell more…”









Adaptations to Life in Perpetual Darkness & Anglerfish Tidbits.


      In the vast depths of the ocean lies an unseen unsullied world; filled with utter darkness, little food, and distinct creatures that call this wintry place home.  The organisms that inhibit the ocean below the Mesopelagic zone have to adapt and develop certain characteristics to insure survival.

                                     Deep sea Includes: Bathyal, Abyssal & Hadal Zones


        Many deep sea organisms are black in color since the lack of light would negate the use of *countershading. Some fish are also red which is also unseen in this environment. Due to *bioluminescence the deep sea is not completely dark, thus deep sea fish still have functional eyes, however, they are much smaller and some creatures from the darkest depths are completely blind.  

       Food is also in short supply, thus deep sea fish often live sedentary lives; they lack swim bladders and have weak muscles; thus conserving as much energy as possible, until a meal comes along.  Then, they use their large mouths and expandable stomachs to accommodate larger, yet infrequent meals.

       Anglerfish are an example of a deep sea organism that has evolved to live in the shadowy depths.  They often have massive jaws and wait patiently for unsuspecting strangers to explore their world.

Although Anglerfish look unsightly and daunting most are relatively small, the smallest being ¼ of an inch.

      Anglerfish have developed an interesting use of bioluminescence to lure and capture prey.  The spine on their dorsal fin has been adapted into a motile fishing pole of sorts that they dangle in front of their mouths. At the end is a piece of exposed tissue that acts as bait. There are bacteria that live inside the fleshy tissue giving the bait its glow which attracts the anglerfishe’s prey.

        Finding a mate in the deep sea can prove even more difficult than finding food. Many species have either become hermaphrodites, employ the use of bioluminescence, or use chemical attractions to find mates. The female anglerfish release pheromones into the water that get the attention of the male anglerfish. In some species, including Cryptopsaras Ceratias, the anglerfish have developed a surefire way to ensure finding a mate.  The male anglerfish, which is dwarfed in size, has one sole purpose in life, to find a female anglerfish. Once he encounters her, he will bite into her where he will remain attached for the rest of his life. This ensures that they will be able to reproduce when necessary. In some anglerfish species the male will actual fuse to the female and connect their circulatory systems; having the female feed him. This is often called male parasitism.

 *Countershading is the coloration of fish with a dark back & a light colored belly; this works efficiently to allow fish to blend in while in open water. Thus when you see the fish from above you see a dark color that blends in with the dark ocean below and when you look at the fish from below you would see a light color that blends with the coloration of surface water.


*Bioluminescent is the production of light by a living organism. Fish in the deep sea use this for communication, to lure prey, for mating rituals, and so forth.


Feedback: what interesting tidbits do you know about marine life?  Have you had any personal experiences?

Author:  Ashley Tyer

“Although I’ve had many… Gods knows I’ll have more…”

Reference: Castro, Peter; Huber, Michael.  Marine Biology Eighth Edition. The McGraw-Hill companies. New York, NY. 2010