This is not Botany 101 but it has something to do with the usefulness of trees that makes our world go round. A tree is a symbol of life. Without a single tree on earth, have you ever wondered how barren our land could be? When it comes to tree surgery, you may be wondering what good will it benefit you.
If we look deeply into the essence of nature, it will open our eyes to appreciate more things. A tree, for example, is a ubiquitous part of it. Wherever we are, there are trees. You cannot deny the fact that trees are an important part of our surroundings, of our community, of our life.
Appreciating the tree’s very existence will help us understand everything why it’s there. Knowledge about a tree is a profound subject, and here, we are going to limit it to just its basic anatomy.
What do you know about a tree? It’s structure and core?
Tree’s Basic Anatomy
According to some dictionaries, a tree is any wooden plant that exists perennially and has a single trunk, or main stem, that grows a considerable height with branches that extend laterally. The main distinction we can derive are two things—first, its primary growth is that its tip goes upwards, and its secondary growth is apparent by its trunk getting thicker outwards.
The trunk is the main part of the tree. Without the trunk, how can the tree stand? It is the stem. Most trunks are woody as the trunk serves as a conduit in transporting nutrients and water coming from the roots onto the crown (leaves, flowers, stems, branches). A single tree can have multiple trunks.
The trunk is an above-ground part of the three and it consists of the following parts:
- Bole—It’s easy to spot the bole if you have a full-grown tree because it is the part between the tree’s base and the first branch.
- Branch—The branch always grows upward, but mostly on a horizontal pattern. Branches can be called boughs or twigs, depending on their size. Twigs are smaller types of branches, and it is the opposite of boughs. They hold the foliage together from the budding stage until full growth.
- Foliage—The collection of leaves refers to foliage.
- Crown—This refers to the topmost part of the tree.
What makes a tree sturdy is its trunk and branches. Compared to plants, trees are the resilient species as they outlast plants for many years and even centuries as they survive all kinds of catastrophe on earth. Besides, trees are the ones who are in the frontlines to protect us further from any environmental harm.
Having said the above, the tree is a formidable living creature because it provides in many ways. What separates it mostly from plants is that its trunk has a core making it more thriving, resilient, and can surpass detriments due to its lush foliage and strong branches. Furthermore, the branches are subject for pruning either for biological or aesthetic purposes.
Other parts: the cross-section of the trunk
The trunk has different layers. It will provide you with an insight of what is in there when you cut it across.
- Pith—made of spongy, soft cells that stores and transports nutrients to the entire tree.
- Heartwood—oak, walnut, and redcedar are examples of tree species with heartwood.
- Sapwood—also called xylem; the nutrients that weren’t stored and transported as energy becomes useless and form into a toxic waste dump. This waste is the reason for the wood’s colour and protects against decay. The sapwood is the premature wood of the tree and lighter in colour. It only becomes the tree’s heartwood when they age
- Cambium—the strongest defence against tree decay; covers the tree’s minor wounds and protects it from the rotten wood that may surround the healthy column.
- Phloem—the layer that follows the cambium tissue; also called the inner bark; its tubular cells help in transporting growth regulators and sugar to other parts of the tree.
- Bark—The phloem and the outer bark are the two layers that comprise the trunk and protect the tree in different ways. The outer bark is the hard covering that is obvious on the outside as this layer is pushed outwards while the tree ages and forms a protective layer against rot brought by cold, heat, bugs, and even people who mistreat the tree.
The roots are the bloodline of a tree. Complex as they may be, roots can be found either above the ground or beneath, as opposed to beliefs of many people that they are only settled underneath the ground. Huge trees have large roots that expand wider than the crown’s perimeter capacity.
The root system is vital to the life of a tree. It transports water and minerals from the soil, anchors the tree on the ground as it helps the trunk in supporting the tree to keep it upright. Large roots that crawl above the ground are perennial roots strong enough to destroy concrete pavement. While trees live for many years, centuries for that matter, large roots are successful in storing food that helps the tree survive that long despite the coming and going of environmental catastrophes.
A further function of roots:
- Promotes growth
- Stores oxygen, water, and minerals needed for survival
- Serves as a base/foundation
- Responsible for absorption
Who would complete the beauty of the tree without the crown? As an adage says, “the hair is a crowning glory,” only shows that the collective growth of branches, leaves, and flowers at the top of the tree refers to the crown.
There are many benefits we can get from the crown. Because the crown consists of the leaves and branches, it is just obvious where we get the shade to protect us from the scorching sun or how we prevent ourselves from drenching raindrops when it rains. Nevertheless, both the sun’s ray and raindrops are essential for the soil below where the roots are hidden and ready to absorb them.
The fruit of a tree
The fruits as we know provide delight to every living being, even the microorganisms. As what makes fruits bloom is with the help of the leaves and vital roles of roots in transporting food to facilitate photosynthesis with the help of the sun’s energy and the wonderful elements in the soil and the atmosphere, such as water and oxygen. In some tree species, leaves are edible.
Leaves have a distinct structure per tree species. Some have a wide range of size and shape, some are broad, and some have needle-like lobe. Nevertheless, it is the leaves that provide the evergreen colour of the tree as a plant. And if you look at the top, it is the trees and grass that provide the green colour complement of the blue Earth.
If you seek further knowledge about the tree’s anatomy, our arborists are equipped with knowledge and techniques to take care of trees. So, the next time you find the value of the tree in your background and haven’t decided if you want to cut, call our team in Alpine Tree Surgeons to figure out the best way.