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a. A perennial woody plant having a main trunk and usually a distinct crown.
b. A plant or shrub resembling a tree in form or size.
a. Something that resembles a tree in form, especially a diagram or arrangement that has branches showing relationships of hierarchy or lineage.
b. Computers A structure for organizing or classifying data in which every item can be traced to a single origin through a unique path.
a. A wooden beam, post, stake, or bar used as part of a framework or structure.
b. A saddletree.
4. Archaic
a. A gallows.
b. The cross on which Jesus was crucified.
tr.v. treed, tree·ing, trees
1. To force up a tree: Dogs treed the raccoon.
2. Informal To force into a difficult position; corner: the reporters finally treed the mayor.
3. To supply or cover with trees: a hillside that is treed with oaks.
up a tree Informal
In a situation of great difficulty or perplexity; helpless.

[Middle English, from Old English trēow; see deru- in Indo-European roots.]

tree′less adj.


See also leaves; plants; wood.

a place where trees are grown for scientific observation, for pleasure, or both.
the cultivation of trees and shrubs for scientific, commercial, or other purposes. — arboriculturist, n.
the cultivation of citrus fruits, as lemons, oranges, etc. — citriculturist, n.
the process of stripping off or removing the cortex or outer layer.
the study of annual rings in trees to determine their age, climatic and other conditions and changes that might have affected them, etc. — dendrochronologist, n.dendrochronological, adj.
the science of tree description. — dendrographic, dendrographical, adj.
the veneration of trees. — dendrolatrous, adj.
the branch of botany that studies trees. — dendrologist, n. — dendrologic, dendrological, adj.
1. the planting of forests.
2. the state of being covered with trees, as of a tract of land.
Obsolete, the act or process of cutting away branches of trees to let light through.
a fondness or liking for forests, woods, or woodland scenery. — nemophilist, n.nemophilous, adj.
the cultivation of fruit and fruit trees.
the process of planting new trees in areas where they have been removed by cutting or destroyed by fire, disease, etc.
the cultivation of forest trees; forestry. — silviculturist, sylviculturist, n.
1. standing timber, with special reference to its value in money.
2. the right to cut such timber and its value on another’s land.
a tumor or woodlike substance on a tree or plant.




  1. Apple-trees on which the apples looked like great shining soap bubbles —Hans Christian Andersen
  2. The bark hung in ribbons from the trunks like the flayed skins of living creatures —R. Wright Campbell
  3. Beeches … their beautiful bare green trunks like limbs —Elizabeth Bowen
  4. The big pine was like greenish bronze against the October sky —Ellen Glasgow
  5. (In the moonlight) the big trees around us looked as bare as gallows —John Braine
  6. The birches bend like women —Caroline Finkelstein
  7. The birches stand out … like gay banners on white poles —Erich Maria Remarque
  8. The birch trees wavered their stark shadows across it [snow] like supplicating arms —Leo Tolstoy
  9. Boughs … as rough and hornily buckled as the hands of old farmers —Margaret Laurence
  10. [Tree] branches … looked like the powerful contorted fingers of a gigantic hand —Sholem Asch
  11. The branches [of a weeping willow] were thin, like the bleached bones of a skeleton —Daphne du Maurier
  12. Cedars … black and pointed on the sky like a paper silhouette —William Faulkner
  13. Chestnut trees … their clusters of white blossoms like candelabras —Dorothea Straus
  14. Copses of hazel and alder stood like a low, petrified forest —H. E. Bates
  15. Cypresses rose like cathedral spires —Jilly Cooper
  16. Elms rich like cucumbers —Joyce Cary
  17. Evergreens as big as tents —Julia O’Faolain
  18. Evergreens … out of place [amid the other trees that change their foliage in Autumn] … like poor relations at a rich man’s feast —Jerome K. Jerome
  19. Huge hardwood trees draped with clusters of Spanish moss guarded the house from the afternoon heat like overdressed sentinels —Paul Kuttner
  20. Magnolia … its chalices of flowers like superb classical emblems —H. E. Bates
  21. Maples, burning like bonfires, pure yellow and pure red —Pamela Hansford Johnson
  22. My poplars are … like two old neighbors met to chat —Theodosia Garrison
  23. The oaks stood silent and tired, like old, worn-out seekers after pleasure, unable to keep up in this grimy, mechanized world of ours —Anthony Powell
  24. Palms … like Spanish exclamation points —Sue Grafton
  25. A pear tree glistened in bloom like a graceful drift of snow —George Garrett
  26. The pear tree lets its petals drop like dandruff on a tabletop —W. D. Snodgrass
  27. Pines … moaning like the sea —John Greenleaf Whittier
  28. Pines tossing their green manes like frightened horses —George Garrett
  29. The pines were packed like a quiver of arrows —John Farris
  30. The pine-trees roared like waves in their topmost branches, their stems creaked like the timber of ships —Katherine Mansfield
  31. A poplar covered with snow looked, in the bluish mist, like a giant in a winding sheet —Anton Chekhov
  32. Poplars like dark feathers against the green and gold sunset —Sharon Sheehe Stark
  33. The poplars stood like tall guards, attentive, at attention —Delmore Schwartz

    A week after the poet entered this in his diary as a fragment he incorporated it into a poem as follows: “The poplar stood like a rifle.”

  34. Poplars that rose above the mist were like a beach stirred by the wind —Gustave Flaubert
  35. Red maples and orange oaks, shaped like hands —Jonathan Valin
  36. The redwoods let sink their branches like arms that try to hold buckets filling slowly with diamonds —James Dickey
  37. Rows of bay trees like children’s green lollipops —Graham Masterton
  38. Saw the bare branches of a tree, like fine lace, against the blackness [of garden] —Jean Rhys
  39. The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry —Bliss Carman
  40. The shadows hung from the oak trees to the road like curtains —Eudora Welty
  41. Tall trees like towers —Carlos Baker
  42. A thick low-hanging branch sags like a wounded arm —John Rechy
  43. The tops of pines moonlit, like floating Christmas trees —Frank Conroy
  44. The tree, in full bloom, was like a huge mountain lit with candles —Alice Walker
  45. Trees against walls, flattened like spies in old movies —Lisa Ress
  46. The trees and the shrubbery seemed well-groomed and sociable, like pleasant people —Willa Cather
  47. The tree sat like a party umbrella (trunk sturdy, branches gently arching) —W. P. Kinsella
  48. Trees bent like arches —Graham Swift
  49. The trees cast still shadows like intricate black laces —H. G. Wells
  50. Trees darkening like clusters of frightened wrens —Philip Levine
  51. The trees dimmed the whiteness [of snow] like a sparse coat of hair —John Cheever
  52. The trees drooped like old men with back problems —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  53. Trees grew close and spread out like bouquets —Stephen Crane
  54. The trees have a look as if they bore sad names —Wallace Stevens
  55. Trees … hunched against the dawn sky like shaggy dark animals, like buffalo —Alice Munro
  56. A tree slender as life, and as tall —Kenneth Patchen
  57. Trees … like burnt-out torches —Oscar Wilde
  58. Trees … like fresh-painted green —Danny Santiago
  59. Trees … like prophet’s fingers —Dylan Thomas
  60. Trees like tall ships —Sharon Sheehe Stark
  61. Trees [planted 40 years ago] … now stately, like patriarchs whose wisdom lives in their mere physical presence, after all sight and mind have been feebled —Paul Horgan
  62. Trees spaced out in ordered formality … like a ballet of spinsters —W. Somerset Maugham
  63. Trees spread like green lather —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  64. Trees … spread their scant shade upon the ground like fine strands of hair —Yitzhak Shenhar
  65. The trees stood motionless and white like figures in a marble frieze —Helen Keller
  66. (In the park) the trees stood reticent as old men —Helen Hudson
  67. Trees … tall and straight as the masts of ships —Donald Hall
  68. Trees tall as mythical giants —David Ignatow
  69. Trees … vibrating headily like coins shaken in a dark money-box —Robert Culff

    See Also: VIBRATIONS

  70. The trees were beginning to put out buds like tiny wings —Helen Hudson
  71. The trees were plucked like iron bars —Wallace Stevens
  72. Trees whose branches spread like hugging, possessive arms —John Rechy
  73. Trees with branches like the groping fingers of men long dead —Loren D. Estleman
  74. Trunks like thick skirts hanging in folds —Paul Theroux
  75. Twigs grasped for the sky like frayed electrical wires —Z. Vance Wilson
  76. Willow trees … their trailing leaves hung like waterfalls in the morning air —Eudora Welty
References in classic literature ?
It seemed quite fairylike to Jo, as she went up and down the walks, enjoying the blooming walls on either side, the soft light, the damp sweet air, and the wonderful vines and trees that hung about her, while her new friend cut the finest flowers till his hands were full.
The windows of the house in which he lived were high and he wanted to look at the trees when he awoke in the morning.
He has come across some old manuscripts, or ancient document records, referring to this valley, and they state, according to this article he has written for the magazine, that somewhere in the valley is a wonderful city, traces of which have been found twenty to forty feet below the surface, on which great trees are growing, showing that the city was covered hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago.
There seemed to be nothing to see; no fences, no creeks or trees, no hills or fields.
They chatted incessantly: about the things around them; their amusing adventure out in the water-it had again assumed its entertaining aspect; about the wind, the trees, the people who had gone to the Cheniere; about the children playing croquet under the oaks, and the Farival twins, who were now performing the overture to "The Poet and the Peasant.
During their wanderings they came unperceived on a piece of waste land where three splendid trees grew.
In one part seeing people on the other side, and remarking that the water was shallow, and that the rocks and trees which grew very thick there contributed to facilitate the attempt, I leaped from one rock to another, till I reached the opposite bank, to the great amazement of the natives themselves, who never had tried that way; my four companions followed me with the same success: and it hath been called since the passage of Father Jerome.
We will search for food, out there in the sunlight," and he pointed to an open plain, dotted with stunted trees and strewn with jagged rock.
I STRODE through the undergrowth that clothed the ridge behind the house, scarcely heeding whither I went; passed on through the shadow of a thick cluster of straight-stemmed trees beyond it, and so presently found myself some way on the other side of the ridge, and descending towards a streamlet that ran through a narrow valley.
A retrogade move Channel of a mountain torrent Alpine scenery Cascades Beaver valleys Beavers at work Their architecture Their modes of felling trees Mode of trapping beaver Contests of skill A beaver "up to trap" Arrival at the Green River caches
Having obtained a quantity for his purpose, he places it in a bag made of the net-like fibrous substance attached to all cocoanut trees, and compressing it over the bread-fruit, which being now sufficiently pounded, is put into a wooden bowl--extracts a thick creamy milk.
pointing to one of the noble trees that occur so frequently in that part of the country.