The more you know about your trees, the better you can care for the plant. And it all starts with mastering some tree lingo.
- Starting with the basics, there's the trunk, then going outward from the trunk and getting smaller as you go are: limbs, branches and twigs.
- The twigs get to be showy because the floral buds, leaves and the fruit manifest there.
- Where the trunk emerges from the ground is often called an elephant's foot. In reality, its name is the basal flare—and it's not something you want to dent with your lawn mower. Very bad for the health of your tree.
- DBH, or diameter at breast height, tells you the diameter of your tree, naturally enough. It's a good predictor of how big a tree will be so you can decide if its future self will fit into a particular space.
- Tap roots, an anchoring type of vertical root, are actually uncommon.
- Buttress roots hold the tree to the ground and they begin underground where the basal flare ends.
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