Can the light from a streetlight kill a nearby tree?

Can the light from a streetlight kill a nearby tree?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Streetlights typically have little effect on most plants. Plants sensitive to changes in day length could be affected by the light, however. For example, chrysanthemums flower in response to short days (or, more technically, long nights). Low-level light from a streetlight can be enough to cause a delay in bloom. Similarly, many woody plants such as trees develop full winter hardiness in response to shortening day length in autumn. If a streetlight is nearby, the tree may get enough light to delay the onset of winter hardiness. A sudden, severe cold snap could create some twig dieback, although it's unlikely to severely damage the entire tree; response is often limited to branches closest to the light source. I wouldn't be worried about trees near streetlights unless the trees are growing against the lights. If they are, they could pose a safety hazard.


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