VARIABILITY AND BALANCE OF CROWN PROJECTION OF TREES PLANTED ON SIDEWALKS OF THREE BRAZILIAN CITIES
ABSTRACT Tree crown form can be used as a variable to the comprehension of factors that influence tree growth, mainly maintenance practices and interactions with urban structures, but also the potential risks that can exist. In this research, we aimed to evaluate crown projection unbalance of trees planted on sidewalks of three Brazilian cities, in order to determine the existence and the sort of asymmetry and crown angle formed in relation to the central axis of the trunk. We measured the length of four crown projection radii and compared them by means of Kruskal-Wallis Test. Each one of the crowns was framed in one of the four asymmetry classes to verify the uniformity of projection in relation to the central axis of the trunk. We also determined the distance between central axis of the trunk and crown centroid, with respective angle formed, in order to characterize the unbalance of crown projection. There was a significant difference among crown projection radii, with greater values to radius faced to street and the smallest ones faced to buildings. In the three cities evaluated there were a predominance of trees framed on class 3 of asymmetry, which represents the model with the greatest deformations on crown of trees. We observed the lowest mean angle of crown centroid projection with distinctions among species sampled in Bonito.