Carlson, William C. Weyerhaeuser Company, Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Last reviewed:March 2020
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- Growth and cell walls
- Shoot and root apices
- Secondary vascular tissues
- Shoot growth and dormancy
- Onset of reproductive competency
- Root growth periodicity
- Correlative relations in shoot and root development
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
An irreversible increase in the size of a tree. Trees grow to a larger size at maturity than other woody perennials (Fig. 1), have a comparatively long period of development to maturity, and live a long time in the mature state. Trees, like other vascular plants, are made up of cells; growth is the result of adding more cells through cell division, and of the elongation and maturation of those cells into functional tissues. Cells and the tissues that they compose differ in structure and function. Some tissues, such as the corky bark, mechanically protect the tree and insulate it against rapid temperature changes. Xylem tissues conduct water, minerals, and some hormones up the tree, whereas phloem tissues conduct photosynthate sugar solutions and other organic molecules (in most cases) down the tree. That fraction of the xylem and phloem that conducts liquids is termed vascular tissue. There are also other nonconducting cells (for example, parenchymal cells) that are important in photosynthesis and food storage. See also: Cell (biology); Cell division; Forest; Forest measurement; Parenchyma; Phloem; Plant cell; Plant growth; Plant primary vascular system; Tissue; Tree; Tree physiology; Xylem
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