It’s not just humans who are having to social distance at the moment. This is something that trees have been doing for hundreds of years, for the same reasons, to protect themselves.
We might be trying to protect ourselves from the dreaded COVID-19 and its variants, but trees are thought to stay a distance from each other to prevent the spread of leaf eating insect larvae.
Other theories are that it ensures that they are a good distance from other trees in case of high winds or that other trees provide shade for new buds.
So some species of tree keep away from each other. This is known as crown shyness or canopy shyness.
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