Williams and colleagues show that trees thanks to their natural different growth forms and ability to modify their shape to fit the available space, can allow multiple tree species to fill in vertical gaps with branches and leaves. This maximizes their combined ability to take up sun light which favours the biomass production. Williams et al. studied 37 plots of temperate-boreal trees that had been planted in Quebec four years previously, ranging from a monoculture to a plot with 12 different tree species. They found that multi-species plantations may be more productive and resilient. By mixing fast-growing shade-intolerant species with slow-growing shade-tolerant species the productivity in forests can be enhanced. Read the whole article in Nature Ecology and Evolution.