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Why Does the Most Moss Grow on the North Side of the Tree?

By Kevin Walker
In the right circumstances, moss  prefers the north sides of trees.
Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

In a forest, you usually can find your way by looking at the side of trees since the most moss accumulates on the north sides of trees, especially in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Moss

Moss prefers dark, damp areas and thrives when those conditions are met.

Sunlight

Because the sun shines from the south in the Northern Hemisphere, the north side of the tree will tend to be the shadiest and also the dampest. This encourages more moss to grow on the north side.

Exceptions

In a particularly dense forest where everything is shaded, moss will grow equally everywhere since no side of the trees gets more sunlight than others. In addition, this logic would be reversed in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

About the Author

 

Kevin Walker is a computer programmer who decided to take a few years out from the corporate life and see the world. He spent a total of six years living abroad and teaching English in China, Korea and Mexico before returning to his home in Texas. He uses his programming and teaching experience to write easy-to-understand computer tutorials.