Massarts Model

This architectural model is associated with many conifer families including Abies, Picea, Sequoia, Metasequoia, Cedrus, Taxodium, Taxus, Cephalotaxus, Ginkgo & Ilex aquifolium. The pattern for this architecture is a vertical, dominant trunk with rhythmic growth and which consequently produces regular tiers of branches at levels established by the growth of the trunk meristem. Branches are plagiotropic (horizontal) either by leaf arrangement or symmetry. The position of flowers/cones is not significant in the definition of the model (which means they don’t terminate the branches and have any effect on the structure).

One study in Indonesia looked at rainfall ‘stemflow’ and ‘throughfall’ (basically how much water runs off the tree into the ground causing erosion) and found that the Massart’s model tree (Pterocarpus indicus) had the highest leaf surface area and caused the least erosion from water runoff.ref However the study used angiosperms with broadleaves and not gymnosperms with needles.