“Trees and people used to be good friends.”
(from “My Neighbor Totoro,” 1988)
Would you like to feel closer to nature right now? How about learning a few words at the same time? Read on to boost your English vocabulary and get in the mood for enjoying the great outdoors.
|Pine / pine tree||/paɪn/|
|Fir / fir tree||/fɜː/|
|Spruce / spruce tree||/spruːs/|
|Maple / maple tree||/ˈmeɪpəl/|
|Ash / ash tree||/æʃ/|
|Palm tree / palm||/pɑːm, pɑːlm/|
PARTS OF A TREE
- Trunk – the thick central woody stem of a tree
- Bark – the outer covering of a tree
- Root – the part of a tree that grows under the ground and gets water from the soil
- Leaf (plural – leaves) – one of the flat green parts of a tree that are joined to its stem or branches
- Branch – a part of a tree that grows out from the trunk and that has leaves, fruit, or smaller branches growing from it
- Twig – a small very thin stem of wood that grows from a branch on a tree
- Crown – the upper branching or spreading part of a tree
- Cone – the fruit of a pine tree
- Needle – a very thin sharp leaf that grows on coniferous /kəˈnɪf(ə)rəs/ trees (e.g. pines)
Pith is a soft white substance that fills the stems of some plants. Annual rings are rings in the cross section of the stem or root of a temperate woody plant, produced by one year’s growth.
- Money doesn’t grow on trees – said to warn someone to be careful how much money they spend, because there is only a limited amount: I won’t buy the second pair of shoes. Money doesn’t grow on trees.
- To be barking up the wrong tree – to be trying to do something in a way that will not work; to make a wrong choice, to ask a wrong person, to follow a wrong course: I barked up the wrong tree when I applied to such good colleges with my average grades.
- The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – a child usually behaves in a similar way to his or her parent(s): Her mother is so rude, and so is she. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
- Out on a limb /lɪm/ – (a limb is a large branch of a tree) in a position where you have no support from other people: I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I completely disagree.
- Root and branch (American English; root and all – British English) – completely: Racism must be eliminated, root and branch.
- To be up a (gum) tree (British English) – in a very difficult situation: I have no idea how I’m going to get out of this contract – I’m really up a tree now. (a gum tree is a tree that exudes gum, especially a eucalyptus /ˌjuːkəˈlɪptəs/)
- To be at the top of the tree (British English) – with the most important status or rank: Don’t expect to be at the top of the tree right out of college. It takes time to work your way up.
- To be out of one’s tree – not thinking in a clear or sensible way; crazy: You’re out of your tree if you think I’ll do that.
- I can’t see the wood/forest for the trees (British English) – used for saying that someone cannot understand what is important in a situation because they are thinking too much about small details: The way he’s obsessing over one doorknob when we’re renovating the entire house makes me think that he can’t see the wood for the trees.
- Close as the bark to the tree – as conned as is possible (usually said about a couple): Tina and Jake are close as the bark to the tree. I always see them together.
- To go between the bark and the tree – to be overly involved in someone’s personal matters (usually personal matters of a couple): You shouldn’t spend so much time alone with Jennifer – she is a married woman, and you’re going between the bark and the tree!
- He that would eat the fruit must climb the tree – one must work for what one wants: Don’t think you’ll get famous overnight. He that would eat the fruit must climb the tree.
- As the twig is bent, so is the tree inclined – one’s actions as an adult are dictated by behaviors learned in childhood: He is still awfully stubborn! As the twig is bent, so is the tree inclined.
- To live in a tree (old-fashioned) – to be very lucky: He’s got a good job and a lovely wife – I’d say he lives in a tree.
- To shake one’s tree – to arouse to action or reaction, to disturb: I believe people are electing radical candidateslike her because they want to shake the government’s tree.
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