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Glossary Terms

Tree Sciences

TermDefinition
Xylem main water and mineral-conducting tissue in trees and other plants. Provides structural support. Arises from the cambium and becomes wood after lignifying.
Phloem plant vascular tissue that transports photosynthates and growth regulators. Situated on the inside of the bark, just outside the cambium.
Parenchyma Cell thin – walled, living cells essential in photosynthesis, radial transport, energy storage, and production of protective compounds.
Branch Bark Ridge raised strip of bark at the top of a branch union, where the growth and expansion of the trunk or parent stem and adjoining branch push the bark into a ridge.
Epicormic Branching branch arising from a latent or adventitious bud (growth point).
Compartmentalization of Decay in Trees (CODIT) Natural defense process in trees by which chemical and physical boundaries are created that act to limit the spread of disease and decay organisms
Flush Cut Pruning cut through and/or removing the branch collar, causing unnecessary injury to the trunk or parent stem.
Rays Parenchyma tissues that extend radically across the xylem and phloem of a tree. It functions in transport, storage, structural strength, and defense.
Angiosperm Plant with seeds borne in an ovary.
Gymnosperm Plants with exposed seeds, usually within cones.
Compression Wood Reaction wood in gymnosperms, and some angiosperms, that develops on the underside of branches or leaning trunks and is important in load bearing.
Reaction Wood Wood formed in leaning or crooked stems or on lower or upper sides of branches as a means of counteracting the effects of gravity.
Tension Wood Form of reaction wood in broadleaved trees (hardwoods) that forms on the upper side of branches or the trunks of leaning trees.
Topping Inappropriate pruning technique to reduce tree size. Cutting back a tree to a predetermined crown limit, often at internodes.
Drip Line Imaginary line defined by the branch spread of a single plant or group of plants.
Disorder Abnormal condition that impairs the performance of one or more vital functions. Often associated with noninfectious agents.
Arboriculture Practice and study of the care of trees and other woody plants in the landscape.
Cultivar cultivated variety of plants; cannot be reproduced without human assistance and usually propagated asexually (cloned).
Cotyledon seed lead. One of the first leaves to form in an embryo.
Epigeal germination process by which plants, fungi and bacteria emerge from seeds and spores, and begin growth. E.g. the sprouting of a seedling from a seed of an angiosperm or gymnosperm.
Family Taxonomic group under the order level but above the genus level.
Genotype The specific set of genes possessed by an individual, both expressed and recessive.
Hardwood cuttings Cutting taken when plant is dormant does not only pertain to deciduous trees, more to do with timing of year. (30 cm long) ex. poplar, willow, dogwood
Included bark Bark that becomes embedded in a crotch (union) between branch and trunk or between co-dominat stems; causes a weak structure.
Phenotype The visible characteristics of a tree. The phenotype is determined by the genotype interacting with the environment in which it is grown.
Ramet A vegetatively reproduced copy of a plant. Each ramet will have almost precisely the same genotype as the original parent tree, known as the ortet.
Scion Top part of a graft, with leaves and buds that is grafted to the root stock.
Softwood cuttings Taken during active growing or emerging shoots of tree & shrubs. Still flexible and slightly green (5-10cm long)
Specific epithet Classification name that follows the genus name in scientific nomenclature.
Stratify To preserve seeds by placing them between layers of moist sand or similar nutrients.
Desiccation Severe drying out. Dehydration
Wound Wood Lignified, differentiated tissues produced on woody plants as a response to wounding. Contrast with callus
Scaffold Limbs Permanent or structural branches that form the scaffold architecture or structure of a tree.
Suborination Pruning cut to reduce the size and ensuring growth of a branch in relation to other branches or leaders.
Whorl Leaves, twigs or branches arranged in a circle around a point of stem.
Anthocyanin Red or purple pigment responsible for those colors in some parts of trees and other plants.
Biomechanics Study of the structures and functions of biological systems from the plant phylum.
Chlorophyll Green pigment of plants found in chloroplasts. Captures the energy of the sun and is essential in photosynthesis.
Plant Hardiness Genetically determined ability of a plant to survive low temperatures.
Carotenoid Yellow, orange, or red pigment responsible for those colors in some parts of trees and other plants.
Dioecious having the male and female organs in separate and distinct individuals; having separate sexes.
Monoecious having the stamens and the pistils in separate flowers on the same plant
Pollarding A pruning system in which the upper branches of a tree are removed, promoting a dense head of foliage and branches.Common in Europe since medieval times and is practised today in urban areas worldwide, primarily to maintain trees at a predetermined height
Hybrid Produced when pollen of one species is used to fertilize flowers of another species.
Rhizosphere Narrow region of soil that is directly influenced by root secretions and associated soil microorganisms
Shake Breakage or longitudinal separation of wood fibres due to causes other than drying, usually originating in the log or tree. Also called "compression fractures", "brittle heart"
Tannin An acidic substance, soluble in water, with a bitter taste, that is present in a number of plants
Tropism A biological phenomenon, indicating growth or turning movement of a biological organism, usually a plant, in response to an environmental stimulus
Created by: rachelanngrant
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