The Parts of a Tree

Trees are one of the Earth’s most valuable and fascinating organisms. Not only do they provide our planet with a breathable atmosphere by emitting oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide, they also provide habitats for millions of other living organisms, including us. These are just the start of an infinitely long list of advantages tree provide our world. So to pay homage to your landscaping trees, how about learning more about them? The more you know about trees, the more you can understand their importance and come to genuinely respect them. A great place to start is with their basic anatomy!

Continue reading to learn the fundamental parts of a tree and what they do.

Noblesville Tree Service 317-537-9770
Noblesville Tree Service 317-537-9770

🍂 Leaves

Tree leaves grow along twigs and branches, making up what we call the foliage of a tree. Leaves come in a wide range of shapes, textures, colors, and sizes, depending on the species of tree they are growing on. The primary role of tree leaves are to carry out a process known as photosynthesis, which involves converting the sun’s energy into food for the tree. They also serve the purpose of releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Depending on the shape and pattern of the leaves, they can also help with water runoff, reduce wind resistance, and more.

Although the color of  leaves vary greatly among all the species of trees, and even change color again and again according to the season, all leaves contain a green pigment called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is used in conjunction with the sun’s UV rays to make food, or carry out photosynthesis. Chlorophyll has many additional uses in our world, such as medicine for blood clotting and more.

🌿 Twigs and Branches

Twigs and branches are the extensions of wood that grow out of the tree’s trunk. They grow in all sorts of shapes and fashions depending on the species of tree. They serve the purpose of providing structure and support for the tree’s leaves, flowers, and fruit. Inside twigs and branches is an inner layer called the phloem that you’ll learn more about, next.  

🌲 Trunk

There are 5 different layers of a tree trunk. Starting with the outside bark, or outer bark, the layers continue to the phloem, then the cambium cell layer, then the sapwood, and ultimately, the heartwood. The outer bark is simply a protector for the inner layers.

The phloem, also known as the inner bark, serves as the food distribution pipeline for the entire tree. It lives for a short period of time, and then dies to become tree bark. The cambium cell layer is where active growth of the trunk takes place. The phloem passes down hormones called auxins that stimulate growth in cells, which allows the tree to produce new bark and wood every year. This is why you can tell a tree’s age by counting the rings inside the trunk.

Similar to the phloem that serves as a pipeline for food, the sapwood is the tree’s pipeline for water. This layer is new wood, and older layers of sapwood lose their vitality and turn into heartwood. Heartwood is the very inner core of the tree trunk, and it is dead wood. However, it is also the central pillar of structural support for a tree. And so long as all the other outer layers are intact, it will never weaken or rot.

🌱 Roots

Tree roots grow within the top 3 feet of the ground, around the base of a tree trunk, and are comprised of both large perennial roots and smaller, fleeting feeder roots. Not only do they absorb water and vital nutrients and store nutritional preserves for winter, they also act as an anchor, holding the tree down in its place.

Noblesville Tree Service You Can Trust

Call 317-537-9770 when you need professional tree service in Noblesville, Indiana. We are highly trained and experienced tree care technicians that offer a wide range of residential and commercial tree services at the most competitive prices in town. Whether you need routine tree service or major tree work, we are the professionals to trust for outstanding results in a convenient time frame.

Why is Mold Growing on My Tree Trunk?

Have you recently noticed a greenish-white or orange-colored film developing on the outside of your tree’s bark? Is so, you may assume it is mold, but really, it is a harmless fungi known as tree lichens. Continue reading to learn more about tree lichens, including its causes, treatments, prevention, and more.

Noblesville Tree Service 317-537-9770
Noblesville Tree Service 317-537-9770

Tree Lichen Fungus

Tree lichens are actually two living organisms, fungus and algae, which both share in a mutually-beneficial relationship known as symbiosis. The fungus collects and retains moisture, which algae needs to thrive, while the algae uses photosynthesis (converting the sun’s energy into food) to make food for the fungus to feed on. This symbiotic relationship does not negatively affect trees in a physical sense. Tree lichens contain rhizines, which are similar to a root system, but they do not reach far enough into the ground to affect the tree’s root system in any way.

Getting Rid of Tree Lichens

Although tree lichens will not damage or kill a tree, many homeowners complain that it makes their landscaping trees look bad. Fortunately, there are some simple and effective methods for removing tree lichens from trees, safely. Here are some recommended methods to try on your own landscaping trees:

❧ Scraping

You can gently scrape tree lichens off of the bark of trees using a mild soapy solution and a soft bristled brush. Combine a mild dish soap with some clean, warm water, and then delicately apply the solution to the affected areas using your soft scrubbing brush. Be very careful with the amount of pressure you use to scrape away the film; scraping too hard can harm the tree and leave it susceptible to pest infestations and disease.

❧ Copper Spraying

You can also apply a copper-sulfate solution to the bark of your trees during warm seasons to kill the tree lichens and prevent them from growing back. It will not work in cold weather. Also, keep in mind that a copper-sulfate application will only take care of the fungus, as it does not target the algae side of the lichen outbreak. For this reason, you may need to follow up a copper-sulfate application with a secondary treatment of soap solution.

❧ Lime Sulfur

Another common treatment used to manage tree lichens is lime sulfur applications. Lime sulfur can be purchased in the horticulture section of any local home improvement or garden store in powder or liquid form. Typically, you can acquire a quality product under $20 or so. Just be careful not to contaminate the tree roots or leaves with this product, as it can cause severe damage to the tree.

❧ Environmental Modification

For those who like an organic, Eco-friendly approach, you can attempt some environmental modifications to prevent tree lichens from developing on your trees. You see, tree lichens grow best in partly sunny, moist environments. So if you change these conditions around your trees by thinning out tree canopies, trimming leaves, or removing sprinkler systems, you can abate tree lichen development for seasons to come.

Noblesville Tree Service You Can Trust

Call 317-537-9770 for Noblesville tree service at an affordable price. We provide a wide range of residential and commercial tree services at the most competitive prices in town. In fact, be sure you check out our tree service coupons and discounts too! Call 317-537-9770 to request a free estimate, today.

Noblesville Tree Service 317-537-9770
Noblesville Tree Service 317-537-9770