Why do trees creak?

Why do trees creak?
20:54 Sun 18th Mar 2007
 
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Because when the wind blows, and its force moves the tree, the tree does not move uniformly.

As a living organism, a tree is in a constant state of development, so the fibres in its trunk and branches are all at different stages of development - some are fully mature and dry, some are new and full of sap. As the trrunk and branches move, different areas of the wood respond differently. Some move a good deal, some don't move at all.

As different fibres with different tensile strengths which are in close proximity react - or not - to the force of the wind, they rub against each other with friction. This is what causes the distinctive 'creaking' noise when a tree is bending in the wind.
It comes to all of us with old age!
Question Author
Thanks Andy for the very informative answer :)
I still maintain (at 21 years old!) that they are talking to one another, much like in the Faraway Tree books...

Your theory is also interesting though andy!!

Lisa

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