Trees are one of the biggest living points on the earth. We gain our mass from the food that us eat, but where execute plants and trees acquire their mass from? They acquire it from the air.

You are watching: Where does plant mass come from

people did not think this very simple answer before photosynthesis was common knowledge.

Jan Baptist van Helmont’s experiment

In the past, most people believed that trees gained their mass native the soil, others thought that trees flourished in dimension by taking in all the water native the soil through its large root network. To find solution to this question, Jan Baptist van Helmont carried out a very straightforward experiment in the 17th Century.

He closely weighed a pot and also planted a willow tree in it. He took care of this tree everyday for the next 5 years and made sure that naught else but water was included to the pot. He additionally made sure that nobody of the soil was tampered with or flew far in the wind. At the finish of the 5 years, once he sweet the tree, he experienced that the tree weighed nearly 74kgs, while on the other hand the soil had lost only about 57 grams in every one of those 5 years. During those 5 years, he had only included water to the pot, so, the concluded the the tree absorbed all the water and that the tree’s fixed was made up of water. But, that wasn’t fully correct.



Plant’s do a procedure called photosynthesis, greatly in its green colored leaves. In this process, carbon dioxide and also water are converted come glucose and also oxygen in the presence of sunlight. Wherein does the carbon dioxide and also water come from? The plant it s okay the carbon dioxide native the air, through small openings in leaves called stomata. The plants absorb water indigenous the soil. Sunshine helps to transform this carbon dioxide and water come glucose and oxygen. The oxygen is climate released back into the air. What gets left behind in the tree is glucose.

Reaction that photosynthesis

6 CO2 + 6H2O → C6H12O6 + 6O2

Carbon dioxide + water → glucose + oxygen


Carbon and mass of the tree

Don’t we say that 70% that our body are consisted of of water? This is true for plants as well. However then, why have I do the efforts convincing you the the massive of the tree comes from the air? Let us look at this diagram

CO2 → In → sheet → O2 →out

Only carbon is left behind.

Carbon and also Glucose

The carbon that is left behind is supplied to do glucose i m sorry is what ultimately gives the mass come the tree. once a plant has actually glucose, it have the right to do two things with it:

1) It deserve to break it under to get power in the type of energy rich molecules called ATP to carry out various features

or 2) It deserve to store the glucose in the type of starch and cellulose. Once the tree has enough glucose to do its various functions required because that its maintenance, the plant chooses option 2 and also stores the overabundance glucose in the form of starch.

Around 500 glucose molecule attached to each other in a details manner consist of starch. When there space 1000 or an ext molecules the glucose, cellulose is formed. Cellulose is really rigid material. Starch is save on computer in seeds. Plants usage cellulose to do its trunk, stems, and leaves strong and rise the dimension of the tree. Due to the fact that the primary component is carbon, we deserve to say that plants and trees gain their mass indigenous the air.

What perform trees obtain from the soil?

If plants obtain its mass indigenous the air, why execute they require soil? that is important to keep in mind that the soil provides a ar for the root of the plant to anchor down. The soil additionally holds water and minerals that are took in through the roots.

So, if the tree it s okay its mass native the air, then yes, the flower gets that is mass native the air, fruit gets that is mass native the air, vegetables likewise gets that mass indigenous the air. But MUSHROOMS carry out not get its mass indigenous the air. Mushrooms space fungi. and fungi, unlike plants perform not do photosynthesis. Instead, they acquire their food and energy and mass by taking in nutrients indigenous dead organic issue such as dead plants and animals.

Quiz Questions

How carry out Trees get Their Mass?

1. Soil

2. Water

3. Sunlight

4. Air

Plants and also trees obtain their mass native the air.

Further Reading

Get stories like this one in your inbox: Sign up for our email and Subscribe Now To get The many Anticipated edition Of Starry story Magazine for Free.

See more: Pros And Cons Of Selective Cutting Versus Selective Cutting?

Read an ext Articles native Life Sciences

1. Read about CRISPR Gene Editing described for Kids

2. Read around the Did You just Spot a Cheetah a Leopard and a Jaguar

3. Read about the The secret Lives of Tardigrades

4. Read around the Chlorophyll and also Haemoglobin – An i can not qualify Connection

5. Read around the What is the True colour of the Coronavirus?

6. Read around Why carry out Fish no Freeze in Cold Water?

About Author

Saunri Dhodi Lobo is pursuing M.Sc in Life sciences with field of expertise in Neurobiology. Her interests include writing poetry, going because that nature walks and swimming. Currently she is affiliated in study on Alzheimer’s disease in fruit flies.