We don’t know what a tree is (and this video won’t tell you)


From MinuteEarth.

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It turns out that defining what is and isn’t a “tree” is way harder than it seems.

To learn more about this topic, start your googling with these keywords:
Wood: A bunch of cellulose fibers intertwined with lignin usually found in the trunk of a tree.
Trunk: A wooden stem that thickens over time.
Bonsai: An ornamental tree or shrub that is artificially prevented from reaching its normal size.
Shrub: A woody plant that is smaller than a tree.
Gymnosperm: A group of plants, including conifers, that have naked seeds.
Angiosperm: A group of plants, including lots of other “trees” that have enclosed seeds.
Monocots: A group of flowering plants – mostly angiosperms – with a single embryonic leaf that includes palm trees.
Dicots: A group of flowering plants – mostly angiosperms – with two embryonic leaves that includes oak trees.

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Georg Miehe, Sabine Miehe, Jonas Vogel, Sonam Co, Duo La. (2007) "Highest Treeline in the Northern Hemisphere Found in Southern Tibet," Mountain Research and Development, 27(2), 169-173. Retrieved from: https://bioone.org/journals/mountain-research-and-development/volume-27/issue-2/mrd.0792/Highest-Treeline-in-the-Northern-Hemisphere-Found-in-Southern-Tibet/10.1659/mrd.0792.full#i0276-4741-27-2-169-b33

Ellenberg, H., Mueller-Dombois, D. (1965). A key to Raunkiaer plant life forms with revised subdivisions. Retrieved from: https://www.e-periodica.ch/cntmng?pid=bgi-002%3A1965%3A37%3A%3A130

Alcott, D. (2019). Are palm trees really trees? That’s Life Science. Retrieved from: http://thatslifesci.com/2019-11-25-Are-palm-trees-really-trees-dalcott/

David B. Neale, Pedro J. Martínez-García, Amanda R. De La Torre, Sara Montanari, Xiao-Xin Wei. (2017). “Novel Insights into Tree Biology and Genome Evolution as Revealed Through Genomics.” Annual Review of Plant Biology 68:1, 457-483. Retrieved from: https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-arplant-042916-041049?journalCode=arplant

Ehrenberg, Rachel. (2018). “What Makes A Tree A Tree?” Knowable Magazine. Retrieved from: https://knowablemagazine.org/article/living-world/2018/what-makes-tree-tree#:~:text=A%20banana%20tree%27s%20trunk%20doesn,cells%20typical%20of%20most%20trees

Christophe Plomion, Grégoire Leprovost, Alexia Stokes. (2001). “Wood Formation in Trees”. Plant Physiology, Volume 127, 4: 1513–1523. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.010816

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