E. Virot, A. Ponomarenko, É. Dehandschoewercker, D. Quéré, and C. Clanet
Phys. Rev. E 93, 023001 (2016)
Data from storms suggest that the critical wind speed at which trees break is constant (≃42m/s), regardless of tree characteristics. We question the physical origin of this observation both experimentally and theoretically. By combining Hooke's law, Griffith's criterion, and tree allometry, we show that the critical wind speed indeed hardly depends on the height, diameter, and elastic properties of trees.