More About Trees

In Botany, a tree is a perennial woody plant with a single main trunk taller than about 2 metres, with xylem tissue in the trunk and branches that continues to enlarge during the life of the plant by the process of secondary growth.

 In common usage, the definition of tree may be narrower, including only very tall plants or those that could yield significant wood. The definition can instead be broader, including tall plants without secondary growth such as the taller palms and the tree ferns. Bamboo is a tall woody plant that is not usually considered to be a tree. A tree typically has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground by the trunk. This trunk typically contains woody tissue for strength, and vascular tissue to carry materials from one part of the tree to another.

For most trees it is surrounded by a layer of bark which serves as a protective barrier. Below the ground, the roots branch and spread out widely; they serve to anchor the tree and extract moisture and nutrients from the soil. Above ground, the branches divide into smaller branches and shoots. The shoots typically bear leaves, which capture light energy and convert it into chemical energy by photosynthesis, providing the food needed by the tree for its growth and development.