Despite a longstanding interest in tree species’ vulnerability to ice storms, analyses of the influence of crown structure on within-crown variation in ice accretion are rare. Nock et al. test the hypothesis that intra-crown ice accretion can be predicted by a measure of sheltering by neighbouring branches. Empirical results and simulations confirmed a key role for crown architecture in determining intra-crown ice accretion.
As suspected, droplets are attenuated by passage through the crown, and thus higher branches accumulate more ice. This is the first step in developing a modelling approach to investigating intra-crown and inter-specific variation in freezing rain damage.