Tree Terms

Are you puzzled by ‘pioneers’, lost with ‘layering’, left non-plussed by ‘net discounted revenue’, or muddled by ‘mensuration’? If so, then the Royal Forestry Society’s pocket-sized handbook Tree Terms is for you …

Forestry and woodland management is as rich in jargon as most other specialities. For the non-expert, the terminology can be confusing and off-putting. That’s why the Royal Forestry Society has compiled a new and expanded edition of our popular glossary Tree Terms to turn tree-speak into plain English for non-professionals.

Tree Terms contains more than 300 definitions, from Acidification to Young growth. There are also around 70 acronyms spelt out, and a list of useful websites is provided too. To give you a flavour of this very useful resource, the terms under A are listed below.

  • Printed copies, priced just £6 (incl. p&p), are available via our online shop.

Tree Terms Cover

No single glossary can ever include all terms to do with all aspects of trees and their care. For this reason we have listed some other useful sources of information below.

 


A

ACIDIFICATION

A process where soil or water bodies are turned increasingly acidic by precipitation of sulphur or nitrogen in weakly acidic form or decay of leaf litter.

AFFORESTATION

The establishment of a tree crop on an area from which it has always or long been absent. Compare with reforestation.

AGENDA 21

The internationally agreed proposals for implementing sustainable development on a local level which emerged from the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.

ANGIOSPERMS

One of the two major divisions of seed-bearing, vascular plants with seeds enclosed in an ovary (fruit) e.g. nuts, fleshy fruit or wind-borne seeds – hazel, rowan and birch respectively.

AGROFORESTRY

Land-use system based on the deliberate integration of trees and shrubs in crop and livestock production systems.

ANCIENT OR ANCIENT SEMI-NATURAL WOODLAND (ASNW)

See under Woodland.

ANCIENT WOODLAND INDICATOR SPECIES

Plant species typical of ancient woodland; i.e. much commoner in ancient than in other woodlands.

ANCIENT WOODLAND INVENTORIES

Map-based records of the whereabouts of ancient woodland compiled in the 1980s and 1990s by the then Nature Conservancy Council and maintained by successor organisations; an important tool for policy makers and planners.

ANNUAL ALLOWABLE CUT (AAC)

The amount of timber that can be cut annually from a particular area to ensure a sustainable supply of timber, which roughly averages the amount of new growth each year minus deductions for losses due to fire, insects and diseases.

ANNUAL GROWTH RING

The sleeve of wood put on each growing season over the previous year’s wood and under the bark on both stem and branches. Consists of spring and summer wood; the latter often darker and shows up as a ring in a cross section.

APICAL DOMINANCE

Where the uppermost bud in a young growing plant develops a more vigorous vertical shoot than others on the same plant. Strong apical dominance leads to trees with a single straight stem and a conical crown.

ARBORETUM

A collection of specimen trees. See also pinetum.

ARBORICULTURE

The cultivation of trees to produce individual specimens of ornamental or amenity value, for shelter or any other primary purpose other than timber production.