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Fractal Trees
Jonah Bosland
Liberty High School
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Abstract:​ ​Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants such as tree. Plants such

as these are essential to agriculture an increasing concern in today's society as food becomes

more scarce the maximization of area is essential. The project sought to see if analyzing the

fractal of Japanese maple trees, a tree with easily analyzed branches, could identify a common

ratio for the trees development. The project did this by analyzing several already mature

Japanese maple trees.

Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. A fractal is a geometric shape in which every part is statistically similar. This

means that a fractal can basically be split up at any point into a repeating shape that either gets

smaller or bigger depending on the scale. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants

such as trees and ferns. Analysis of these plants can lead to a better understanding of their

biology. Trees are an essential part of agriculture around the world and provide important food

worldwide. With a rapidly growing population maximization of food growing area is primary

concern in order to guarantee food for everyone. This project sought to analyze mature Japanese

maple trees in order to see if a ratio existed between the order of the fractal pattern within the

tree itself. If a ratio did exist then this could be used in order to maximize spacing for food

growth.
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Abstract:​ ​Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants such as tree. Plants such

as these are essential to agriculture an increasing concern in today's society as food becomes

more scarce the maximization of area is essential. The project sought to see if analyzing the

fractal of Japanese maple trees, a tree with easily analyzed branches, could identify a common

ratio for the trees development. The project did this by analyzing several already mature

Japanese maple trees.

An example of a fractal

Trees develop over a significant period of time compared to other kind of plants and are

very unique in the way they grow. Trees grow from the inside out in rings consistently growing

new layers forever or until they die.​ ​This means that any association of trees as a self repeating

fractal is inaccurate when associated with time because the development of the tree over time is

not infinite and forever changing. A way to get around this is by looking at the current fractal

dimension of the tree. Fractal dimension measures the ‘complexity’ of the pattern that the fractal

takes. The equation for fractal dimension is , where N is equal to new parts and
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Abstract:​ ​Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants such as tree. Plants such

as these are essential to agriculture an increasing concern in today's society as food becomes

more scarce the maximization of area is essential. The project sought to see if analyzing the

fractal of Japanese maple trees, a tree with easily analyzed branches, could identify a common

ratio for the trees development. The project did this by analyzing several already mature

Japanese maple trees.

epsilon is equal to scale. There are many words that are used to describe what fractals are,

another one of those words is ”A common, yet ‘mathematically’ inappropriate term used to

describe the surface of objects, is their ‘roughness’. The term roughness is used in common

language to describe what is, in fractal linguistics, an object’s space filling capacity or surface

irregularity. Yet, roughness and fractal dimension do not describe the same feature. Roughness,

is a measure of the average variation about a mean and is not related to scale or changes in scale

of measurement.”(Jelinek 11). These are the main terms that will be used to analyze and describe

the results of the project.

Human population has shown extreme exponential growth and rises higher every year. It

has been estimated that the human population doubles every 23 years at a rate of 3% per year.

This has led to many perceived problems for the future if the population spirals out of control.

One of these problems is providing enough people with the food they need. Approximately 795

million or about 1 in 9 people suffered worldwide from undernourishment in the years 2014 -

2016. This problem will only continue to grow as the population does until it is to big to handle.

While prominent organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation work to fight world

hunger another important task is to optimize growing area. Food growing facilities such as
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Abstract:​ ​Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants such as tree. Plants such

as these are essential to agriculture an increasing concern in today's society as food becomes

more scarce the maximization of area is essential. The project sought to see if analyzing the

fractal of Japanese maple trees, a tree with easily analyzed branches, could identify a common

ratio for the trees development. The project did this by analyzing several already mature

Japanese maple trees.

orchards plant trees in straight lines in order to create an organized growing system. However,

this does not even come close to the optimization of space. An optimized space would take place

by finding the maximum spread that a tree takes through a fractal ratio.

A graph of human population growth


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Abstract:​ ​Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants such as tree. Plants such

as these are essential to agriculture an increasing concern in today's society as food becomes

more scarce the maximization of area is essential. The project sought to see if analyzing the

fractal of Japanese maple trees, a tree with easily analyzed branches, could identify a common

ratio for the trees development. The project did this by analyzing several already mature

Japanese maple trees.

Orchards work in two ways there are small and large orchards. Small orchards service a

community or business such as small towns or winerys. A large orchard is used for commercial

gain such as selling to supermarkets and internationally. Large orchards are the ones needed for

optimization because the larger the area of the space being used inefficiently the bigger the

waste. Large orchards have around 5 main methods of organization that they use:

1. Square method

2. Rectangular method

3. Quincunx method

4. Triangular method

5. Hexagonal method

1. Square method: The square method is planting the trees in a repeating square pattern

allowing for one worker to work the 4 trees in the square.

2. Rectangular method: The method of planting the trees on a rectangular plot and just

repeating rectangles from the outside to the inside.


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Abstract:​ ​Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants such as tree. Plants such

as these are essential to agriculture an increasing concern in today's society as food becomes

more scarce the maximization of area is essential. The project sought to see if analyzing the

fractal of Japanese maple trees, a tree with easily analyzed branches, could identify a common

ratio for the trees development. The project did this by analyzing several already mature

Japanese maple trees.

3. Quincunx method: The method of planting trees in a quincunx. A quincunx is a 5 point

pattern that makes a cross where if 4 points where connected then they would form a

rectangle.

The five face on a die is a quincunx


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Abstract:​ ​Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants such as tree. Plants such

as these are essential to agriculture an increasing concern in today's society as food becomes

more scarce the maximization of area is essential. The project sought to see if analyzing the

fractal of Japanese maple trees, a tree with easily analyzed branches, could identify a common

ratio for the trees development. The project did this by analyzing several already mature

Japanese maple trees.

4. Triangular method: The method of planting the trees in triangles. This allows worker to

work faster and get to more clusters of trees in one day.

5. Hexagonal method: The method of planting the trees in a hexagon. Most efficient for

single person care as just travel along the perimeter is needed.

Procedure:

1. Identify Tree

2. Complete Box Count On Multiple Scales

3. Repeat For Desired Number of Samples

4. Average For Overall Relationship

5. Run Linear Regression Analysis To Create Function

Results:

Tree 1

Scale (ft^2) Count


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Abstract:​ ​Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants such as tree. Plants such

as these are essential to agriculture an increasing concern in today's society as food becomes

more scarce the maximization of area is essential. The project sought to see if analyzing the

fractal of Japanese maple trees, a tree with easily analyzed branches, could identify a common

ratio for the trees development. The project did this by analyzing several already mature

Japanese maple trees.

2 20

4 16

6 14

8 13

10 12

Tree 2

Scale (ft^2) Count

2 30

4 25

6 21

8 19

10 18

Tree 3

Scale (ft^2) Count


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Abstract:​ ​Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants such as tree. Plants such

as these are essential to agriculture an increasing concern in today's society as food becomes

more scarce the maximization of area is essential. The project sought to see if analyzing the

fractal of Japanese maple trees, a tree with easily analyzed branches, could identify a common

ratio for the trees development. The project did this by analyzing several already mature

Japanese maple trees.

2 15

4 11

6 9

8 8

10 7

Tree 4

Scale (ft^2) Count

2 22

4 19

6 18

8 18

10 17

Tree 5
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Abstract:​ ​Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants such as tree. Plants such

as these are essential to agriculture an increasing concern in today's society as food becomes

more scarce the maximization of area is essential. The project sought to see if analyzing the

fractal of Japanese maple trees, a tree with easily analyzed branches, could identify a common

ratio for the trees development. The project did this by analyzing several already mature

Japanese maple trees.

Scale (ft^2) Count

2 28

4 21

6 16

8 13

10 12
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Abstract:​ ​Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants such as tree. Plants such

as these are essential to agriculture an increasing concern in today's society as food becomes

more scarce the maximization of area is essential. The project sought to see if analyzing the

fractal of Japanese maple trees, a tree with easily analyzed branches, could identify a common

ratio for the trees development. The project did this by analyzing several already mature

Japanese maple trees.

The results of my research concluded that the different trees varied wildly depending on

the environment they were raised in. This can be seen by the differences between tree 2 and tree

3. Tree 2 was planted in an open field with plenty of space to grow while tree 3 was planted next

to a building that blocked most of its sun and given little to no space to grow. This resulted in
Bosland 13

Abstract:​ ​Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants such as tree. Plants such

as these are essential to agriculture an increasing concern in today's society as food becomes

more scarce the maximization of area is essential. The project sought to see if analyzing the

fractal of Japanese maple trees, a tree with easily analyzed branches, could identify a common

ratio for the trees development. The project did this by analyzing several already mature

Japanese maple trees.

the largest count number of tree 2 being 30 flower bearing branches while tree 3 had only 15.

This however is not the only factors that could potentially skew results on a regional basis. A

different in climates can greatly change how a tree grows and develops. Factors such as length of

days, amount of rain, and types of soil. So this is why while this information does help

understand how the growth of a tree works the results cannot be applied to any area outside of

Oregon. This is due to different conditions affecting the growth of the trees themselves. Even in

the same environment such as where this sample was taken the direction and spread of the trees

varied wildly.
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Abstract:​ ​Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants such as tree. Plants such

as these are essential to agriculture an increasing concern in today's society as food becomes

more scarce the maximization of area is essential. The project sought to see if analyzing the

fractal of Japanese maple trees, a tree with easily analyzed branches, could identify a common

ratio for the trees development. The project did this by analyzing several already mature

Japanese maple trees.

Annotated Bibliography

“Pacific Northwest Research Station: Old growth--A Unique Ecosystem.” ​Oregon Wild​,

Pacific Northwest Research Station,

www.oregonwild.org/oregon_forests/old_growth_protection/pacific-northwest-research-st

ation-old-growth-a-unique-ecosystem.

The Pacific Northwest Research Station’s intent is to inform people of what an old

growth forest is and why they are important. This is done by providing facts about old growth

forests and why these attributes are rare but very helpful to wildlife. This source is credible

because it is created by a research station in the environment that is being discussed also the

source is first hand government funded experience. This source is useful due to it helping
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Abstract:​ ​Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants such as tree. Plants such

as these are essential to agriculture an increasing concern in today's society as food becomes

more scarce the maximization of area is essential. The project sought to see if analyzing the

fractal of Japanese maple trees, a tree with easily analyzed branches, could identify a common

ratio for the trees development. The project did this by analyzing several already mature

Japanese maple trees.

categorize what an old growth forest is and provides mine facts about old growth sources that

can be cited.

“Fractal Pack 1 Educator's Guide.” ​Fractal Foundation​, Fractal Foundation,

fractalfoundation.org/fractivities/FractalPacks-EducatorsGuide.pdf.

Fractal Foundation’s intent is to inform people of fractals and their types. This is done by

providing many images and examples of real world, geometric, and algebraic. This source is

credible because it is an official organization and cites a variety of high level sources to back it’s

information. This source is useful because it allows for the researcher to have multiple examples

to pull from when citing types of fractals in different categories.

“Fractals and Complexity.” ​Image J​, imagej.nih.gov/ij/plugins/fraclac/FLHelp/Fractals.htm .

The government’s intent is to inform people of how to do the math for fractal analysis.

This is done by providing examples and formulas to use for things such as fractal dimension.
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Abstract:​ ​Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants such as tree. Plants such

as these are essential to agriculture an increasing concern in today's society as food becomes

more scarce the maximization of area is essential. The project sought to see if analyzing the

fractal of Japanese maple trees, a tree with easily analyzed branches, could identify a common

ratio for the trees development. The project did this by analyzing several already mature

Japanese maple trees.

This source is credible because it is an official government website meaning that extensive

research and editing has gone into it. This source is useful because it provides examples and

math to put into a research paper.

Jelinek, Herbert F. ​UNDERSTANDING FRACTAL ANALYSIS? THE CASE OF FRACTAL

LINGUISTICS​. 18 Nov. 2005,

www.biourbanism.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/UNDERSTANDING-FRACTAL-AN

ALYSIS.pdf.

Herbert F. Jelinek’s intent is to provide people with the language needed to understand

fractal analysis. This was done by writing a paper on the terms used in fractal analysis. This

source is credible because it is written by a college professor. This source is useful because it

defines the terminology used in the research paper itself.

Lev-Yadun, Simcha. “Fern Leaves and Cauliflower Curds Are Not Fractals.” ​Plant Signaling

and Behavior​, 1 May 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3419012/.


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Abstract:​ ​Fractal analysis is the assessment of fractal patterns and the determination of their

characteristics. Fractals occur abundantly in nature especially in plants such as tree. Plants such

as these are essential to agriculture an increasing concern in today's society as food becomes

more scarce the maximization of area is essential. The project sought to see if analyzing the

fractal of Japanese maple trees, a tree with easily analyzed branches, could identify a common

ratio for the trees development. The project did this by analyzing several already mature

Japanese maple trees.

Simcha Lev-Yadun’s intent is to disprove people’s inaccurate claim of an association


between fern biology and fractals. This is done by comparing the biological growth of a fern and
fractal growth of fern models. This source is credible because it is written by a college professor
with in depth verified knowledge on the subject. This source is useful because it provides another
point of view on the subject at hand.

Patrzalek, Edyta. “Fractals: Useful Beauty.” ​Fractal.org​,

www.fractal.org/Bewustzijns-Besturings-Model/Fractals-Useful-Beauty.htm.

Edyta Patrzalek’s intent is to provide people with the knowledge necessary to start doing
fractal geometry. This is done through description of fractals and their importance and uses
multiple examples to present these ideas. This source is credible because it is written by a college
professor with vast knowledge on the subject presented.