Terminology for Short Acres, FL

Learn More About Your Trees And The Terminology Used. Contact Bay City Tree Service, Inc. In St Petersburg, Florida At 727-823-7140 Today For A Free Estimate!


Absorbing Roots - small and fibrous, they take up water and nutrients; usually found at shallow depth in the root zone.

Absorption - taking up.

Access Route - roadway for entering and leaving a construction zone.

Aeration - drilling holes or pumping air into root zones to overcome compaction or improve water movement.

ANSI A300 - American National Standards Institute; standards of treatment for tree care practices.

ANSI Z133.1 - American National Standards Institute; standards of safety for tree care practices.

Antitranspirant - chemical applied to plants to reduce water loss through leaves and stems.

Anvil Pruner - tool with straight blade that presses onto a flat surface; not recommended for tree pruning.

Arboriculture - science of growth and development of trees, and tree care practices.



Backfill – soil and any amendments used to cover roots during transplanting.

Balled and Burlapped – trees grown in field soil and harvested manually or mechanically; wrapped in burlap with twine, and may have wire cage for larger trees.

Bare Root – trees grown in field soil but shaken or rinsed to remove soil when harvested; handled during dormancy. Smaller specimens usually, but survival of larger root masses is possible with hydrogel products.

Bark – outer layer of stems and trunks; protective tissue.

Barrier – fenced or otherwise designated boundary of root protection zone during construction.

Branch – stem originating from another, larger stem.
Branch Bark Ridge – protruding bark at the top of the junction (crotch) of two branches; continues downward from crotch.

Branch Collar – junction (overlap) of tissues of two branches or branch and trunk.

Bud – small dormant apical or lateral meristem; may be foliar or floral tissue; undeveloped flower or stem.

Buttress Root – large woody root extending trunk into the soil; part of root flare.

Bypass Pruner – tool with curved lower and cutting blades that slide past each other to operate.



Cambium – layer of lateral meristematic cells; produces phloem and xylem tissue.

Canopy – branch and leaf portion of tree (also called ‘crown').

Carbohydrate – energy-storage compound produced by photosynthesis.

Cavity – open wound or hollow in trunk of tree; result of decay.

Central Leader – main growing terminal stem of a tree.

Certified Arborist – professional tree service provider; certification regulated and maintained with International Society of Arboriculture. Certified Arborist: an individual who has passed the certification examination sponsored by the International Society of Arboriculture and who maintains a current certification.

Codominant Stems – two equally competing terminal branches.
Compaction – squeezing of soil that results in loss of pore spaces.

Containerized – trees grown in pots in a nursery since propagation, usually in a soil less mix; may have been stepped-up numerous times before sales.

Crotch – top of the union of two branches or of branch and trunk.

Crown – aboveground portion of tree.

Crown Cleaning – removal of watersprouts, suckers, dead, dying, diseased, deformed and damaged branches.

Crown Reduction – alternative to topping; reducing canopy by appropriate pruning techniques.

Crown Restoration – technique to restore growth habit of topped or damaged tree.


Decay – deterioration of woody tissue by diseases.

Deciduous – trees that drop their leaves in winter.

Desiccation – extreme drying out.

Dieback – condition of death of many terminal branches.

Dormant – at rest, or in a state of reduced activity.

Drip Line – boundary of the canopy.

Drop Cut – second cut in 3-cut process of removing a branch.

Drop Zone – area where cut branches may fall during pruning.


Extension Pruner – hook and blade bypass pruning tool on telescoping handle, operated by rope.
Evergreen– trees that keep their leaves or needles year‐round.


Fail – a tree or branch breaks or falls.
Flush Cut– improper pruning technique; removes branch collar and damages trunk.


Girdling Root – root growing around part of the trunk, restricting its expansion.
Guying – stabilizing a tree with ropes or wires attached to ground staubs.


Hand Pruners – tool for one-handed cutting of smaller stems.

Hardened Off – gradually introduced to a new environment.

Hardiness – ability to withstand cold or warm temperatures.

Hardiness Zone – sections of the country designated by expected range of low temperature.
Hazard Potential – likelihood of failure and damage posed by a tree.

Heading Back – pruning shoots back one-half to one-third to buds or twigs with potential for growth.

Heartwood – inner wood (nonfunctioning xylem) that gives strength to the trunk.

Horizon – layer of soil in the profile.


Included Bark – bark tissue lodged in the crotch of two branches or branch and trunk indicating weak attachment.
Invasive Species - an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health, as defined by the Department of Agriculture.


Lateral – side branch or smaller twig of a limb.

Lateral Bud – vegetative bud on side of a branch.

Lateral Root – branching root beyond buttress root zone.

Leader – primary terminal stem of a tree or scaffold branch.
Liability – legal responsibility; generally associated with probable cost to repair damage.

Lopper – tool for two-handed cutting of larger stems.

Lowest Permanent Branch – lowest limb that will remain in tree canopy.


Main Branches – those that make up the canopy of the tree (scaffold branches).

Mature Height – tallest expected growth of a tree.

Mature Tree – has reached approximately 75% of its full canopy growth.

Mechanical Trimming - cutting of plant parts by any power-drive method other than chainsaw or boom-axe.
Meristem – tissue capable of dividing to form new cells.

Multiple Leaders – codominant stems competing for central growth of tree.

Mycorrhizae – fungus root; symbiotic combination of fungus and root tissue.


Native - a species that historically occurred in a physiographic region of Virginia.

Natural Target Pruning – technique of removing branch that protects the branch collar; 3-cut process.
Node – point of attachment of leaves and axillary buds.


Permanent Branch – branch that will remain on tree; initial scaffold framework.

pH – measurement of acidity level of soil.

Phloem – food-conducting tissue of tree just outside of cambium.

Photosynthesis – food-making process of green plants.

Planting Specifications – detailed diagrams and statements specifying techniques for installing trees.
Pole Pruner – long-handled pruner to reach into canopy without a ladder.

Pole Saw – long handled tool with tree saw on the end.

Pollarding – specific pruning technique for height restriction of trees.

Pruning – cutting away undesirable parts of a tree.


Radial Trenching – technique for improving soil aeration in root zones; trench radiates from trunk.

Raising – removing lower branches to provide clearance.

Reduction – pruning to reduce height and/or spread of canopy.

Respiration – cellular process releasing energy from stored foods.

Restoration – pruning to recover shape and strength of damaged canopies.
Riparian Buffer - a band of trees, shrubs, or grasses that border a body of water.

Root Ball – remaining root and soil after tree is field-harvested.

Root Flare – base of trunk that swells out to become buttress roots entering the soil; root collar.

Root Pruning – cut or remove any circling or girdling roots; cutting roots to increase density of root mass.(H3) Scabbard


Scabbard – sheath for tree saw.

Scaffold Limb – permanent, main branch of the canopy. Ample vertical and radial spacing improves tree structure.

Sinker Roots – deep-growing roots providing tree stability.

Site Considerations – factors to take into account when determining what trees to select for the location.

Soil Amendment – material mixed with soil to adjust physical or chemical status.

Soil Analysis – determination of pH and mineral status (P and K usually) of soil.

Soil Compaction – pressing of soil that removes pores, eliminating water- and air-holding capacity.

Staking – using stakes to support newly planted trees.
Standards – specifications for tree installation, maintenance and/or pruning.

Stress – any of a group of factors that has a negative effect on tree health.

Structural Defect – any flaw in a trunk, branch or root that weakens the tree, possibly leading to failure.

Structural Pruning – pruning to develop a sound scaffold branch system in a tree.

Subordinate – prune a branch to retard its growth rate compared to competing branches.

Sucker – shoot originating from a root or lower trunk.

Sunscald – bark damage by excess sunlight and heat.


Taper – decrease in diameter of trunk and branches from the base toward the tip.

Temporary Branches – shoots that remain during training of young trees, to be removed as tree matures.

Terminal Bud – bud at the apex of a stem.

Tree - woody vegetation two inches or greater in diameter to be measured at ground level.

Tree Protection Zone – area of tree roots to be designated by fencing to prohibit access during construction activities. Minimum 8-foot radius, or usually 1-foot radius per inch diameter at breast height.

Thinning – selective pruning of entire stems to increase air or light penetration to canopy or to decrease branch weight.

Topping – non-professional pruning technique; non-selective canopy reduction, often destructive to tree.

Transpiration – loss of water vapor from pores in leaves; cooling and nutrient transport process.
Transplant – install new tree into the landscape.

Transplant Shock – environmental stress (moisture, heat) after installation due causing wilting or leaf drop.

Tree Well – wall and root aeration system around tree and root zone when soil grade is raised.

Tree Wrap – temporary material to protect trunk of recently transplanted trees.

Trunk – base stem of tree that supports canopy.

Tunneling – boring a hole under root zones; alternative to trenching to protect roots.

Turgid – adequate water pressure in tissues.


Undercut – first of 3-cut process in natural target pruning. Prevents bark tearing.


Vertical Mulching – drilling vertical holes in root zone and filling with porous material to improve aeration and water penetration.


Water Sprout – fast-growing, usually vertical shoot from a lateral branch.

Weak Crotch – narrow angle connecting two branches or branch and trunk; often with included bark.

Wilt – loss of turgidity, drooping of leaves.
Wind Throw – toppling failure due to high winds.

Wire Basket – external supporting cage for large B&B root masses.

Wound Dressing – not recommended; compound for covering cut branch ends.


Xylem – water-conducting tissue produced by cambium; becomes wood and provides structural support.
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