Parts of a Tree

Structure of a tree
The tree is composed of an underground part, the roots, and two aboveground parts, the trunk and the crown.

bole
Part of the tree trunk extending between the stump and the first lower limbs; it has no offshoots.

limb
Offshoot growing directly out of a tree trunk, subsequently dividing into branches and twigs.

twig
The most slender offshoot of a tree branch.

crown
Part of the tree above the trunk, including the branches and the foliage.

radicle
The most slender offshoot of a tree root.

shallow root
Root, often having many offshoots, growing somewhat horizontally into the rich moist topsoil.

taproot
First root growing out of the seed that grows vertically into the soil; it usually has few offshoots, its main function being to anchor the tree in the ground.

branch
Offshoot of one of the tree’s limbs.

top
Apex of the tree’s crown.

branches
The aggregate of larger and smaller branches that provide support for the tree’s leaves, flowers and fruit.

foliage
The aggregate of the leaves on a tree; it is especially adapted to capture light and perform photosynthesis.

root-hair zone
Part of the radicle covered in small absorbent hairs that ensure the tree is supplied with mineral salts and water.


Cross section of a trunk 
Moving from the center to the periphery there are six parts: the pith, the heartwood, the sapwood, the cambium, the phloem and the bark.


heartwood
Hard dark-colored wood layer made of dead sapwood; it encircles the pith and supports the trunk and branches.

pith
Central part of the trunk, composed of soft tissue that contains nutrients essential for sapling growth.

bark
Tree’s external protective layer; its texture and color vary depending on the species.

phloem
Tissue located immediately below the bark, whose main function is to transport sap transformed by photosynthesis from the leaves throughout the rest of the tree.

cambium
Growth tissue that simultaneously produces the external phloem and the internal sapwood, thereby enabling the tree to increase in diameter.

sapwood
Relatively new layer of wood that is generally pale in color; it transports raw sap, composed of water and nutrient minerals, from the roots to the leaves.

annual ring
Each of the concentric circles representing the layer of wood produced in one year; the age of the tree can be determined by the number of rings.

wood ray
Conduit connecting the pith to the core and circulating nutrients horizontally within the trunk.

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