An idea for an interesting study...if it hasn't been done already
A couple of weeks ago, it snowed "down low" as we say in the foothills of California. It was a wet, heavy snow that caused a lot of trees (mainly live oaks) to lose limbs or (worse) fall over.
Live oaks occur from the low foothills to about 3500 to 4000', at which point conifers take over. Because they don't shed their leaves, live oaks sometimes get burdened with snow. Too much and they can't stand the strain.
Between ten and fifteen years ago, we had a wet snow at my mother's house, which is about 3000' above sea level. Nearly eight inches had piled up on the live oaks. One of them could no longer stand the strain and fell over, clipping the edge of the house.
The snow we had last week wasn't very deep at my current elevation, which is below 2000', but the live oaks in the low country dropped like flies. I didn't notice as much devastation among the live oaks above a certain elevation.
I hypothesize that live oaks at higher elevations develop in such a way as to withstand heavy accumulations of snow. I further hypothesize that the live oaks at lower elevations don't need to be as sturdy because snows heavy enough to cause real damage are very, very few. In fact, I was rather amazed that oak trees were collapsing under a mere 2-3" of snow. There may be another reason for it, of course, but it sounds like a fascinating study idea. *shrug*
Books on atheism, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.