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Science >> Biology for Kids

Biology for Kids

Trees

What is a tree?

This may seem like an easy question at first. We see trees everywhere and we know what they are when we see them, but what is it that really makes a tree, a tree?

The first part of the description is fairly easy. A tree has a woody stem and is a perennial, meaning that it lives for many years. However, there are bushes and other plants that fit this description and aren't really trees. There actually isn't a scientific description of a tree, so most people and books use a rule of thumb. If a plant has a woody stem, is a perennial, and grows to more than 13 feet tall, then it's a tree. Of course, there will always be tree-like bushes and bush-like trees, but, for the most part, we know a tree when we see one.

Types of Trees How do trees grow?

As trees get older they grow taller, wider, and deeper. Trees grow taller by growth from new cells at the tips of their branches. They also grow deeper in the form of roots in the ground which collect water and nutrients from the soil. The roots grow at the tips like the branches. Trees also grow wider in their trunks and branches. This growth takes place at the outer later called the cambium. Since growth of the cambium stops during the winter or cold months, tree trunks develop rings. Each ring represents a year of growth. We can see how old trees are by counting their rings.



Diagram of rings in a young conifer from Fritts, 1976


Other Tree Features Trees and Humans

Trees have provided humans with building materials for homes, furniture, and more throughout all of human history. Trees have also been a great source of fuel as fires for keeping warm and cooking food. We also gather a lot of our food from trees such as fruit and nuts. However, trees are also important to our environment. Trees are a primary source of oxygen. They breathe in and reduce carbon dioxide and in turn provide oxygen. We couldn't live without trees! On top of that trees provide us with shade and beauty, so be sure to hug a tree today!

More Biology Subjects

Cell
The Cell
Cell Cycle and Division
Nucleus
Ribosomes
Mitochondria
Chloroplasts
Proteins
Enzymes

The Human Body
Brain
Nervous System
Digestive System
Sight and the Eye
Hearing and the Ear
Smelling and Tasting
Skin
Muscles
Breathing
Blood and Heart
Bones
List of Human Bones
Immune System
Organs

Nutrition
Nutrition
Vitamins and Minerals
Carbohydrates
Lipids
Enzymes

Genetics
Chromosomes
DNA
Mendel and Heredity
Hereditary Patterns
Proteins and Amino Acids

Plants
Photosynthesis
Plant Structure
Plant Defenses
Flowering Plants
Non-Flowering Plants
Trees
Living Organisms
Scientific Classification
Animals
Bacteria
Protists
Fungi
Viruses

Disease
Infectious Disease
Medicine and Pharmaceutical Drugs
Epidemics and Pandemics
Historical Epidemics and Pandemics
Immune System
Cancer
Concussions
Diabetes
Influenza


Science >> Biology for Kids






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