Why does moss grow on the north side of a tree?


Moss likes to grow on the side of the tree that’s shady.

One way you can sometimes tell which direction is north in a forest is to see on which side of the trees moss is growing.  Mosses are most often found growing where it is moist and shady.  That’s why moss on trees usually grows on the side that gets little or no sunshine—the north side.

A green carpeting of moss is nearly always to be found growing on damp soil in woodlands and along streams.

It is often found growing on rocks, cracks in cement walks, on damp fences and old logs.  In the hot sun, some mosses curl their leaves and look brown and dead, but showers and cooler weather make them fresh and green again.

Most are really thousands of tiny moss plants growing so closed together that they are tangled into one matted clump.

They do not have flowers or seeds like most plants.

Moss plants produce tiny specks of plant matter called spores which serve as seeds.  Many spores are scattered by the wind, and grow wherever it is damp enough.



  2. That’s a good post.

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