Tree - Woody And Nonwoody, Perennial And Annual, Shedding And Not Shedding, Compartmented, High And Low. A tree is a highly compartmented, perennial, woody, shedding plant that is usually tall, single-stemmed, and long-lived. A shrub is also a woody plant similar to a tree except it is usually several-stemmed and smaller than a tree. Some shrubs can grow for many years. A creosote bush in California is thought to be 12,000 years old. The bristle-cone pines are known to be several thousand years old. The Sequoias on the western coast of the United States are some of the most massive trees known. Some coastal redwood are over 340 feet tall. Eucalyptus regnans in south central Tasmania were probably as tall or even taller several decades ago. All but a few of the real giants exist today. Then there are the Ficus species or the banyan tree that sends down prop roots. On an area basis, these trees must rank at the top. One of the oldest known trees still with us is the Ginkgo biloba. It is classified in the Gymnosperms which puts it closer to conifers than to our hard- woods or angiosperms. It is the only tree that has swimming male spores. The world of trees is full of wonders. The tree theme is fairly constant, but the variations are almost endless. The ecological stages of a tree are community centers for unique groups of organisms. See “Trees”. Things Trees can Teach us Click here
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