top of page


Here are some botanical terms our certified arborists might use when evaluating and describing trees.

  • Acicular - Needlelike.

  • Angisperm - Means 'enclosed seeds' and identifies trees usually known as hardwoods.

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

  • Clinometer - a clinometer, or device for measuring vertical angles.

  • 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.

  • Drupe - 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 groups 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 , suppressed 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 group of individuals considered set apart from 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 upward in the tree.

bottom of page