Daily Devotional – July 20
Water does not flow uphill. So, how does water get to the leaves high up in a tree? Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) trees tower some 35 stories or 379 feet above the ground.1 Some of these redwoods move as much as 160 gallons of water a day up out of the ground. As you stand near the base of these trees, listen closely for the sound of their mechanical machinery pumping the water to the top. You won’t hear a sound. So, how do they move all that water?
God has set up a wonderful design in trees – osmosis, capillary action and transpiration. Even though wood seems to be solid, it has thousands of microscopic interior tubes stretching from the roots to the top of the tree. Water enters the roots because of osmosis; higher pressure moves water molecules into the lower pressure area in the roots. Then, capillary action takes place, moving the water upwards. Dip a corner of a paper towel in water and notice the water creeping up the fibers. Working with osmosis and capillary action is transpiration. As sunlight strikes the leaves, the water molecules evaporate, transforming liquid water to a gas. This vapor “flies” into the air while the next water molecule in line starts heating up. The long chain of water molecules is pulled to the very top of the tree as each one at the top evaporates. On a hot summer day, water molecules can travel up the tree at 25 mph. All this goes on silently, year after year. There are no mechanical parts, and when something breaks down, the tree has mechanisms to repair itself. We cannot say the same when we pipe water to the top of a tall building. When we see such an advanced plumbing system, we know there must be a plumbing engineer!
As poet Joyce Kilmer famously stated, “… only God can make a tree.”
...stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.
~ Job 37:14b
Source: "Pearls in Paradise" by authors Bruce Malone and Jule Von Vett
References for this devotional.