Trees

A Seed Takes Root

The Living Forest

Rings
See what tree rings tell us
about the life of a tree.

A Seed Takes Root


Pictorial timeline shows
how a pinecone sheds
a seed and becomes a tree.

Anatomy of a Tree


See a cross-section
of the inside of a tree trunk.

Pinecone Seed

A Seed Takes Root

A Seed Taking Root

This pictorial timeline shows how a pinecone sheds a seed and becomes a tree.

  1. The Seed Continues Growing The embryo tree inside the seed.
  2. Complete with tiny leaves, stem, and a point that will become a root, the tiny embryo tree is embedded in a food supply called “endosperm”.
  3. The growing embryo splits the shell of the seed.
  4. Responding to gravity—whichever way the seed lies—the root probes its way toward the ground.
  5. As soon as the tiny root tip penetrates the soil, the tree is not only fixed in the ground, but is capable of absorbing water and mineral nutrients.
  6. The leaves emerge from the shell and create a supply of chlorophyll. Now the tree can manufacture its own food from water in the soil and carbon dioxide in the air.
  7. Hidden at the base of the leaves is the “terminal bud.” Within this cluster of actively dividing cells, all upward growth takes place.

Images courtesy of International Paper