Exposure of beech leaves to wind damage increased the amount and spatial variability of sulphate uptake from solutions in contact with the astomatous adaxial leaf surface. Drying of the droplets on the leaf surface enhanced uptake by up to three orders of magnitude compared with uptake from solution. Sulphate was not transported far from entry points provided by cuticular lesions. Cuticular integrity, assessed using dye tracers, was breached by wind damage caused by repeated abrasion and impacts between leaves and buds, and by ballistic impaction of wind-borne particles. Cuticular lesions provide acid rain and mist with access to mesophyll domains delimited by minor veins. Wind damage and weathering may, therefore, increase the magnitude and heterogeneity of solute uptake via leaf surfaces by damaging cuticular integrity.