European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 131, Issue 1, pp 191–202 | Cite as

Coherent response of a group of plantation-grown Scots pine trees to wind loading

  • Dirk Schindler
  • Hannes Fugmann
  • Jochen Schönborn
  • Helmut Mayer
Original Paper


Wind-induced motion of 29 neighbouring trees growing in a Scots pine plantation was measured over the period 14 March to 24 March 2008. The bi-orthogonal decomposition (BOD) of the complex tree motion field into a limited number of spatio-temporal modes provided the basis for the analysis of the response behaviour to wind excitation of the group of sample trees. It is shown that the first BOD-mode was the most energetic and differed from all other BOD-modes. The BOD-results as well as the results from wavelet analysis of the temporal eigenvectors of the BOD-modes demonstrate that two concomitant low-frequency components in the streamwise wind velocity component stimulated coherent response of the sample trees at the tree group level. However, in the range of the wind speed measured close to the top of the Scots pine forest canopy (hourly mean wind speed values lower than 6 m s−1), the wind loads associated with these low-frequency airflow structures were too low to harmonise the motion of the sample trees completely. It is shown that instantaneous single tree responses to wind excitation were highly irregular in magnitude and direction. Results from Fourier and wavelet analysis demonstrate that sway in the first mode dominated the wind-induced sway behaviour at the tree level.


Tree sway Coherent tree motion Bi-orthogonal decomposition Wavelet analysis Scots pine 



The German Research Foundation (DFG SCHI 868/1) and the State Ministry of Environment of Baden-Wuerttemberg (joint research project RESTER) funded this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dirk Schindler
    • 1
  • Hannes Fugmann
    • 1
  • Jochen Schönborn
    • 1
  • Helmut Mayer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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