The 2nd edition of Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary contains 128 pages devoted to words that start with T. The first word is T, which is both a type of bandage and a tool used in carpentry, and the last is tzar, an alternate spelling of czar.
In a companion post about words that start with Z, the word zoo led to zebra, which led to other animals whose names begin with z. For the letter T, I wanted to write a companion post about plants, except plants does not begin with T.
But tree does. And I discovered three columns—an entire page—devoted to the word. Let’s trudge forth.
Tree. As a noun, tree has several definitions. The first is a woody plant with a main trunk and many branches. Some tall bushes that resemble trees, such as the rose tree, have tree in their names.
Other trees also exist. For example, in math, a diagram of a series of branching lines is a tree. In chemistry, a tree is a formulation of crystal in the shape of a tree. Archaic uses of tree include the gallows and the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
Of course, we can’t forget the “The tree of life” or “Tree of Good and Evil.” Then there is the “Tree of Buddha,” also known as the Bo Tree. The Japanese have “the tree of the sun,” which refers to a tree that grows to 80 feet. Also called the Japanese Cypress, the tree was dedicated to the god of the sun by some native worshippers.
As a verb, tree means “to drive someone to a tree or cause them to climb a tree.” A dog might tree a squirrel or cat. It can also imply that you have cornered someone.
Names Containing the Word “Tree”
Prepare yourself for a long list.
Tree agate. A species of agate found in Brazil and India.
Tree asp. A venomous South African tree snake.
Treebeard. Long moss or lichen that grows on trees.
Tree beetle. Any of the beetles that live on the leaves of trees. Other insects include a tree cricket and a tree hopper.
Tree bracket. A fungus shaped like a bracket.
Tree calf. In bookbinding, a brown binding using calf leather. The markings on the binding resemble a tree.
Tree cat. A small mammal also known as a paradoxure. The three paradoxure species are native to southern Asia and are also called palm civets.
Tree cobra. Tree cobras are venomous South African snakes.
Tree cony. A type of wild African rabbit.
Tree birds include a tree creeper, a tree crow, a tree dove, and a tree duck.
A tree goose is not a bird but a mussel or barnacle. And a treefish is another name for a California rockfish.
Believe it or not, a species of kangaroo lives in trees, as does a species of porcupine found in South America.
People and Trees
Tree surgery. Treating damaged tree by removing limbs, treating fresh wounds, and and filling cavities.
A tree surgeon performs the surgery.
They use a tree compass to measure the diameter of a tree.
If they plan to move trees, they use a tree digger.
And people who worship trees are members of a tree cult.
Tree burial. A custom used by some Native Americans. They placed the dead inside the hollow trunk of a tree or on a platform in the tree.
Finally, trebuchet has nothing to do with trees, but it’s a fun word. Also spelled trebucket, it is a medieval war engine used for hurling large stones.
Did I leave out any tree words in this list of words that start with t.
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