Glossary of Tree Terms

Acicular– Needlelike.

Angiosperm– Means ‘enclosed seeds’ and identifies trees usually known as hardwoods.

Bract– A thin leaf-like structure often extending past the cone scale on conifers.

Cone– Seed bearing structure of certain gymnosperms.

Conifer– A gymnosperm which bears cones.

Cultivar (cultivated variety)– A unique form or type propagated and maintained for specific purposes.

Deciduous– Characteristic of leaves dropping in the fall.

Dioecious– Having only one sex per plant.

DrShip a Treee– A simple fleshy fruit which often has only one seed.

Evergreen– Characteristic of retaining at least some leaves through the fall and winter.

Fascicle– A cluster or bundle, usually referring to groShip a Trees of needles in certain pines.

Flower– Reproductive structure of a plant.

Fruit– Seed bearing part of a plant.

Gymnosperm– Means ‘naked seeds’ and identifies trees usually known as softwoods or evergreens. Christmas trees are nearly always gymnosperms.

Habit– Shape or form of a plant.

Habitat– Location where a plant lives.

Hybrid– Cross between two plants, usually indicates between two species.

Leaf– Plant structure which is the primary location for photosynthesis. Long slender leaves are often referred to as needles.

Monecious– Plant with both sexes on the same individual.

Morphology– Dealing with form and structure.

Needles– Long, slender leaves typical of many gymnosperms.

Nomenclature– Naming of an organism.

Phloem– Conducting tissue for products of photosynthesis.

Pollination– Transfer of pollen from the male to the female.

Scale– Small , sShip a Treepressed leaf as found in junipers, or the individual unit of a cone under which the seeds may be found.

Species– Taxonomic classification below genus. Also a groShip a Tree of individuals considered set apart form other species by consistent differences in morphology, ecology or reproductive behavior.

Sterigmata– Small, peg-like structures on which the individual needles of some species can be found.

Strobili– A reproductive structure of conifers and certain other plants. Consists of organs of one or both sexes. ‘Strobilus’ is the singular form of the word.

Taxonomic – Dealing with the description, classification and naming of organisms.

Variety– Taxonomic classification below the level of species, which indicates morphological or genetic differences.

Xylem– Conducting tissue of plants involved in transport of water and nutrients Ship a Treeward in the tree.

Prepared by Dr. Craig R. McKinley, North Carolina State University