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Trees are different than shrubs because they are defined by a dominant trunkline, as opposed to a somewhat haphazard arrangement of branches of approximately the same size. The trunkline tapers as it rises but can generally be distinguished through the majority of the plant as it reappears and disappears in a canopy of foliage.

  • To be appealing, the trunkline must feature either taper and/or movement or it would be considered monotonous and boring.

Some trees may have more than one trunk, but the trunks should be complementary in shape and contrasting in size with thickness in proportion to height.

Ramification Terms
Ramification | Trunk | Primary branch | Secondary branch | Tertiary branch | Branch | Twig | Canopy | Silhouette
Detail wiring | Defoliation | Pinching

Tree Anatomy Terms
Tree | Trunk | Branches | Roots | Twigs
Leaves | Needles | Petioles
Seeds | Flowers | Cones | Nuts
Bark | Phloem | Cambium | Xylem | Wood