All About Trees

Trees grow all around us. Trees are important for a variety of reasons such as providing shade, helping to prevent erosion, and more.

Trees are complex, they include roots, leaves, branches, trunks, crowns and more.

There are two types of trees, deciduous and evergreen trees.

Deciduous Trees

Deciduous trees are trees that lose all of their leaves for part of the year. These trees lose their leaves when it gets colder, and this happens mostly during the fall.

The deciduous trees, in colder climates, do not have leaves during the winter time and the trees are bare.

In hotter climates, deciduous trees sometimes lose their leaves during the dry season.

Evergreen Trees

Evergreen trees do not lose all of their leaves at the same time. Evergreen trees will have some leaves, even if they lose some of their leaves.

Evergreen trees replace their old leaves for new leaves, but they are never completely without leaves.


The roots of the trees grow deep underground. These roots are important because they help the tree to soak up the nutrients that are needed in order for the tree to grow.

The roots also help to provide water for the tree. The roots are deep in the ground and they help to make sure that the tree stands up and does not fall down.

The roots help the earth to not be eroded by wind and water. The roots take water through the trunk and to the leaves.


Branches of a tree

The branches are similar to the roots, but they are at the top of the tree.

These branches help to carry water to the upper part of the tree, and they help to bring water to the leaves.


Row of Ginkgo Trees with Yellow Leaves

The leaves are the part of the tree that help with photosynthesis. The leaves take in carbon dioxide and put out oxygen for us to breath.

Photosynthesis is important for trees and for other things living nearby, by helping to trap the carbon dioxide and protecting people from too much carbon dioxide.


Trees have a crown which is the leaves and the branches, and this part of the tree where the tree gets its food through photosynthesis.

A trees crown works just like an umbrella, protecting people from rain and wind.


The trunk gives the tree support and it also helps to support the crown.

The trunk helps to move water through the whole tree and transports the water and the nutrients from the soil to the leaves.

Inside of the trunk of a tree are rings. These rings help to tell how old a tree is.

The rings grow each year, but they are made up of different things to help them grow such as bark, cambium, pith, heartwood, sapwood and cambium.


Brown Tree Bark Covered With Green Algae

Bark is what is on the outside of a tree. The bark helps to protect the tree from predators and forms a protective layer for the inner parts of the tree that are more delicate.

Trees have both an inner and an outer bark and the inner layer is made up of living cells while the outside layer is made up of dead cells.

The inside layer of the bark is called phloem and the job of the inner layer of bark is to carry sap from the leaves to the rest of the tree.


Cambium is a super thin layer of cells that are living cells.

These cells help the tree to make new cells which help the tree to grow wider each and every year.


Pith is the cells that are found in the middle of the tree trunk. The pith is spongy like and has tiny, dark spots. The pith helps to carry the nutrients through the tree.

The pith is located in the middle so that it can be protected from insects, animals and wind. This is important because it helps to carry nutrients.


A sawed-off tree trunk with an interesting, flame-shaped pattern of the dark heartwood lies in the woods

Heartwood is the sapwood that is in the middle of the trunk.

The sapwood is dead and is the hardest wood of the tree. The heartwood is dark, and it helps to support and give the tree strength.


Tree trunk structure bark sapwood texture in the winter forest biology

The sapwood is also called xylem. The xylem helps to bring water and nutrients from the root to the branches and the leaves.

This is the inner layers of the tree and it is the youngest wood of the tree. As the sapwood gets older, it dies and becomes heartwood.

Usefulness of Trees

Squirrel sitting in a tree

Trees are useful to almost all species. Animals can find food and protection in the trees, while people can use the wood for building and for firewood.

The trees provide shelter from the wind and from the rain. Trees provide shade for people and animals when it is sunny.

Trees help to regulate the temperature. Forests for example, are very useful in nature because they help keep things below cool on hot days and they help to protect the animals below.

The most important thing that a tree does is to provide a large amount of oxygen.

Without trees, our bodies would get too much carbon dioxide and people and animals would not get enough oxygen to live.

Trees Facts for Kids

  • The smallest tree is called the dwarf tree and it is only 2 inches high.
  • The largest tree leaves are called the African Raffia Palm leaves.
  • Roots can be hundreds of feet below the ground.
  • Some trees have a defense mechanism to stop animals from eating their leaves.
  • Trees sometimes release gas to warn other trees of harm.
  • There are over 100,000 species of trees.

What Did You Learn?

  • What kind of trees loses their leaves during the fall or dry season? Deciduous trees lose their leaves during the fall or the dry season.
  • What is the most important function of a tree? The most important function of trees is to provide oxygen. Without oxygen people or animals cannot live.
  • What part of the trunk is located in the middle and is protected because it helps transport nutrients and water throughout the tree? The pith is located in the middle of the tree and is important because it helps transport nutrients and water to all parts of the tree.
  • How do trees help the land? Trees help the land because they protect the earth from erosion that happens with wind and rain.
  • What is the part of the tree that acts like an umbrella and where the tree gets its food from? The crown is the part of the tree that acts like an umbrella and where the tree gets its food from.