Portal:Trees

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Trees

$5 tree.JPG

A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to 6 m; some authors set a minimum of 10 cm trunk diameter (30 cm girth). Woody plants that do not meet these definitions by having multiple stems and/or small size are called shrubs. Compared with most other plants, trees are long-lived, some reaching several thousand years old and growing to up to 115 m (379 ft) high.

Trees are an important component of the natural landscape because of their prevention of erosion and the provision of a weather-sheltered ecosystem in and under their foliage. They also play an important role in producing oxygen and reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as well as moderating ground temperatures. They are also elements in landscaping and agriculture, both for their aesthetic appeal and their orchard crops (such as apples). Wood from trees is a building material, as well as a primary energy source in many developing countries. Trees also play a role in many of the world's mythologies (see trees in mythology).

Selected article

Cocos nucifera - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-187.jpg

The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family). It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word.

Found across much of the tropics, the coconut is known for its great versatility as seen in the many domestic, commercial, and industrial uses of its different parts. Coconuts are part of the daily diet of many people. Its endosperm is known as the edible "flesh" of the coconut; when dried it is called copra. The oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking and frying; coconut oil is also widely used in soaps and cosmetics. The clear liquid coconut water within is a refreshing drink and can be processed to create alcohol. The husks and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating. It also has cultural and religious significance in many societies that use it.

Selected biography

Krubsack pictured in 1919 sitting in the chair that he grew himself.

John Krubsack (1858-1941) was a banker and naturalist from Embarrass, Wisconsin. He conceived, planted and shaped living trees to create the first known grown chair. He started his chair in 1903 and harvested 11 years later in 1914.

In addition to banking, Krubsack was a prominent naturalist who farmed, made cheese, and landscaped his property long before these were common practice.[clarification needed] His house was the first in his region to have running water. He also was skilled at piecing together furniture from found branches. He’d scour the local river flats with a yardstick and a saw, looking for just the right shaped piece of blue beech, a hardwood tree with a smooth, wavy bark and a beautiful blue color when varnished. John took his youngest son, Hugo, on these weekend wood-hunting excursions, and it was during one of his trips that the idea first came to him to grow his own chair. Read more...

In the news

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Did you know?

Gregory's tree, a large boab tree

  • ... that Gregory's tree (pictured), near Timber Creek in Australia's Northern Territory, bears inscriptions by 19th-century explorers and is registered as both a heritage place and an Aboriginal sacred site?
  • ... that the Balderschwang Yew is possibly the oldest tree in Germany?
  • ... that black truffles suppress plant growth around their host tree, creating an area that looks burned?
  • ... that root extracts from the tree species Pycnanthus angolensis can be used to treat parasitic infections, such as schistosomiasis?
  • ... that the lime trees of Duncliffe Wood are reputedly among the oldest living things in the county of Dorset?
  • ... that trees of the New Guinea genus Finschia have stilt roots coming off the trunk up to 1.8 m (6 ft) off the ground?
  • ... that in the early 1980s, a team of surveyors discovered the World War II-era Avro Anson Memorial near Clackline, Western Australia, which had been overgrown by shrubs and trees?

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