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Tree Basics

White Oak, Quercus alba

Courtesy G. Lumis


A tree is quite wonderfully made, with each of its parts busily at work from the tiniest rootlet buried deep underground to the topmost twig of the highest branch. A tree lives and breathes steadily and constantly. It uses the light from the sun to convert minerals and water from the soil, and the carbon dioxide it receives from the air to sustain that life.

A tree has three principal parts: root, trunk and crown. The root is the part that grows in the ground; the trunk grows above ground and the crown grows out of the trunk and is made up of limbs, twigs, leaves, buds, flowers and fruit.

Like any other living entity, a tree may get diseased or have its limbs cut or broken. While the tree can often heal itself over time, it may sometimes be prudent to consult a professional on how to save the life of the tree. Trees are immobile and obviously cannot 'speak' for themselves so it is then that we must provide the tailor-made care that can help remedy the given situation.

A healthy tree can be very long-lived, certainly much more so than its human counterpart. Indeed it will remain on a property, becoming a source of enjoyment for many generations to come.