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Meet a Tree

Meet a Tree Booklet

The characteristics of a general plant are:

  • stem (trunk is a type of stem)
  • roots
  • leaves
  • flowers
    (cone-bearing trees, such as pine,spruce, fir don’t have true flowers)
  • seeds/fruit
Trees Herbaceous Plants
-trunk -stem
-hard woody trunk -soft stem
-leaves -leaves
-may have flowers -may have flowers
-roots -roots
-bark -no bark
-seeds and/or be present present -seeds and/or be present present
-branches -may or may not have branches

To summarize the difference between trees and herbaceous plants:

-trees are larger than herbaceous plants
-trees have thicker stems
-trees have harder, woody stems & branches
-a tree’s leaves are usually larger
-trees have bigger roots

In general there are 2 major differences
between trees and other plants: size
and structure.
Trees are bigger and
are woody, not soft stemmed. Shrubs
are also woody plants but they tend to
be smaller than trees and have more
than one stem.


The major parts of a tree or any plant, (roots, stem and leaves) work together to help it grow. Here is a brief summary of their roles.


  • anchor the tree
  • take up water and minerals from
    the soil to feed the tree


  • provides support to the tree
  • contains the “plumbing” of the tree, where water and minerals
    are carried from the roots up to the rest of the tree and sugars are
    carried from the leaves to other parts of the tree.
  • is the place where all other plant parts are attached
  • a tree’s outer bark is made of hardened, dead cells and serves to
    protect the tree from damage and disease.


  • like a mini-factory, leaves make food
    for the tree through a chemical
    reaction called photosynthesis.
    Chorophyll- the green color in
    leaves is necessary for the
    reaction to occur. Carbon dioxide
    from the air is combined with water
    from the roots, in the presence of sunlight,
    to produce sugar (glucose) and oxygen.


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