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Some time ago, when I just started with amateur radio, a few more experienced hams told me that an inverted-V works better in the forest than a ground plane, and that it has something to do with the orientation of liquids in the trunks of trees.

Since then I've read plenty of books on antennas and didn't find a single mention of anything like this. I wonder whether there was any research on the subject or maybe it's just another street legend?

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From my informal results based on the reception of medium-wave AM broadcast stations on a Tecsun PL-310 "Ultralight" receiver, the dBµ signal strengths displayed on the receiver were over 6 dB greater when the receiver was held at ~5' AGL next to the trunk of a large, isolated oak tree than when 10+ feet away from it. In all test locations the physical orientation of the receive antenna was set to optimize vertical polarization, as is used by AM broadcast stations.

These results show that an antenna must be in the extreme near field of re-radiating trees in order for any significant amount of mutual coupling to exist between them.

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