ABCs of Trees

Did you follow along on the recent ABCs of Trees on CLC Tree Services Facebook page? Every week we looked at a letter of the alphabet and defined a term related to trees. Some defined different tree services that CLC offers, while others gave more details about trees and their different parts and qualities.

Of course our ABCs were far from comprehensive. We only chose one word for each letter (aside from Y, which had several short definitions). For some letters, we could have defined many more. It was just a taste of a glossary of words that arborists use on a regular basis. It got us to thinking though. Perhaps more people might have interest in a glossary of tree terms or arborist jargon? Maybe we should publish a more extensive list on our blog for people to refer back to when they aren’t sure of a term? Great idea, but where do we start?

What arborist terms are you unfamiliar with? Which parts of trees would you like to know? Are you interested in a list of different tree genuses and what species fall under each taxonomic group? Let us know and we can start a new glossary of tree terms on the Facebook page or here on the blog. For today, we recap the original ABCs of Trees. Thanks for your interest!

ABCs of Trees

Arborist – an arborist is an individual trained in the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining individual trees. Arborists are knowledgeable about the needs of trees and are trained and equipped to provide proper care. Hiring an arborist is a decision that should not be taken lightly.

Bark – the tough exterior covering of a woody root or stem; specifically: the tissues outside the cambium that include an inner layer especially of secondary phloem and an outer layer of periderm

Cambium – The cambium is a very thin layer of growing tissue that produces new cells that become either xylem, phloem or more cambium. Every growing season, a tree’s cambium adds a new layer of xylem to its trunk, producing a visible growth ring in most trees. The cambium is what makes the trunk, branches and roots grow larger in diameter.

Dioecious – A dioecious plant is one where the male and female reproductive systems occur on separate plants. While both plants produce flowers, one plant has the male reproductive parts and the other plant has the female parts. This is unlike a monoecious plant, which has both male and female flowers.

Endangered Species – More than 200 species of plants and animals are at risk of disappearing from Ontario. The Endangered Species Act provides:

Science based assessment – species are assessed by an independent body based on the best-available science and Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge

Automatic protection – species classified as endangered or threatened automaticallyy receive legal protection

Habitat protection – when a species is classified endangered or threatened, its habitat is also protected

Fertilization – Deep root fertilization is the process of injecting fertilizer into the root system of a tree. If necessary, a soil test determines the health of your soil and to see which nutrients may be lacking. When it is determined that fertilization is required, this plant health care application is performed to add those deficient nutrients back into your soil.

In general terms—fertilization is the food for your tree.

Why fertilize? Trees which are under stress from disease or insect infestation need the added nutrients to help fight against attack. Older trees can also benefit from a deep root fertilization application when soils are found lacking in essential nutrients for a tree’s health. This is often the case when soil gets compacted, leaves are raked away from trees on a regular basis (robbing the tree of these nutrients), or your soil has a high pH level, like in London, Ontario.

Genus – A genus is a class or group of something. In biology, it’s a taxonomic group covering more than one species.

Hardiness zones – When choosing plants for your garden, it’s important to select varieties that can thrive year-round in your area, especially in regions where extreme winter temperatures are normal. Planting zones define, generally, which plants you can grow in your area.

Invasive speciesInvasive species are plants, animals, and micro-organisms introduced by human action outside their natural past or present distribution whose introduction or spread threatens the environment, the economy, or society, including human health (Government of Canada, 2004).

Juglone – Most members of the Walnut family (Juglandaceae) produce a chemical called “juglone” (5 hydroxy-alphanapthoquinone) which occurs naturally in all parts of these plants.

Key – Keys are a useful tool that can be used to simplify identification of unknown tree species

Leaves – Leaf, in botany, any usually flattened green outgrowth from the stem of a vascular plant. As the primary sites of photosynthesis, leaves manufacture food for plants, which in turn ultimately nourish and sustain all land animals.

MulchMulch is any material that is spread or laid over the surface of the soil as a covering. It is used to retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, keep the soil cool, and make the garden bed look more attractive. Organic mulches also help improve the soil’s fertility, as they decompose.

Nutrients – Trees require nutrients to live and thrive. When one or more of these nutrients are deficient in the soil, the tree will not reach its full landscape potential, will be more susceptible to disease and insect problems, and will have a shorter life than a similar, well-fertilized tree. The nutrients required by all plants, including trees, can be divided into two groups: macronutrients and micronutrients, based upon the quantity necessary for growth. Macronutrients are required by plants in larger quantities than micronutrients. The macronutrients required by plants for growth include nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S). Addition of macronutrients, especially nitrogen, can result in improved growth while deficiencies can lead to slower growth and visible symptoms. Micronutrients, which are required in very small amounts, include iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), boron (B), chlorine (Cl), and molybdenum (Mo).

Ornamental trees – A tree cultivated for its beauty rather than for use. It is usually a small flowering tree used for understory or massed in the open for color and texture.

Photosynthesis – Photosynthesis is the process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Photosynthesis in plants generally involves the green pigment chlorophyll and generates oxygen as a byproduct.

Quiet – the absence of noise or bustle; silence; calm. (that short time period between Christmas & winter tree work)

Removal – the act of taking something or someone away from somewhere or something.

Stump grinder – Once a tree is removed, there is still one last task to be taken care of before a job is done; remove the stump. Stump grinders are used to get 8″ – 15″ below grade level to remove the remains of a tree. A high-powered cutting wheel quickly and easily sweeps through the remaining trunk and root. This leaves an area that can easily be refilled with mulch or soil, creating a level surface once more.

Taxonomy – Taxonomy is the branch of biology that classifies all living things. It was developed by the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, who lived during the 18th Century, and his system of classification is still used today. Linnaeus invented binomial nomenclature, the system of giving each type of organism a genus and species name. He also developed a classification system called the taxonomic hierarchy, which today has eight ranks from general to specific: domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.

Urban Forestry – Urban forestry is the care and management of single trees and tree populations in urban settings for the purpose of improving the urban environment. Urban forestry advocates the role of trees as a critical part of the urban infrastructure. Urban foresters plant and maintain trees, support appropriate tree and forest preservation, conduct research and promote the many benefits trees provide. Urban forestry is practiced by municipal and commercial arborists, municipal and utility foresters, environmental policymakers, city planners, consultants, educators, researchers and community activists.

Vegetative reproduction – Vegetative reproduction is the regeneration of a whole individual plant from part of another… In nature, vegetative reproduction may take place through sprouting from stumps or roots, through rooting of detached branches, or through layering, a process in which roots grow from branches that are buried in organic debris but are still attached to the parent tree.

Water –  Water gives nutrients and life, but with too much (drought) or not enough (flooding) there comes issues (focus on local flooding that week)

Xylem – Xylem is a type of tissue in vascular plants that transports water and some nutrients from the roots to the leaves.

Zipline – Zipline is a simple form of speedline… (speedline is a) rigging line strung in such a way as to allow tree segments to slide to the ground at a distance away from the base of the tree and the drop zone for an ordinary lowering line

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