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

Bonsai at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the United States National Arboretum.

About this sound Bonsai  (盆栽 Japanese) (lit. tray plant, from bon, a tray or low-sided pot and sai, a planting or plantings) is a Japanese art form using miniature trees grown in containers. Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penjing from which the art originated, and the miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese hòn non bộ. The Japanese tradition dates back over a thousand years, and has evolved its own unique aesthetics and terminology.

'Bonsai' is a Japanese pronunciation of the earlier Chinese term penzai (盆栽). A 'bon' is a tray-like pot typically used in bonsai culture. The word bonsai is often used in English as an umbrella term for all miniature trees in containers or pots, but this article focuses on bonsai as defined in the Japanese tradition.

The purposes of bonsai are primarily contemplation (for the viewer) and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity (for the grower). By contrast with other plant cultivation practices, bonsai is not intended for production of food, for medicine, or for creating yard-size or park-size gardens or landscapes. Instead, bonsai practice focuses on long-term cultivation and shaping of one or more small trees growing in a container.

Selected biography

Two Leg Tree

Axel Erlandson (December 15, 1884 – April 28, 1964) was a Swedish American farmer who shaped trees as a hobby, and opened a horticultural attraction in 1947 advertised as "See the World's Strangest Trees Here," and named "The Tree Circus."

The trees appeared in the column of Robert Ripley's Believe It or Not! twelve times. Erlandson sold his attraction shortly before his death. The trees were moved to Gilroy Gardens in 1985. Read more...

In the news

Selected picture

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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