Word of the Month: Dendrology

David Zapatka

The poll results of the July WOTM column regarding the question, “Is it ‘It’s a few more miles still’ or is it ‘It’s a few more miles yet?’” posed by reader Sally Teusch are in and they are very interesting. There was one vote for ‘still,’ three votes for ‘yet’ and four votes to rearrange the sentence.Representative of those readers who voted for the sentence to be rearranged is reader Margaret Betanzos from SaddleBrooke.  Margaret wrote, “I believe that if you rearranged Sally’s sentence and have it read ‘It’s still a few more miles,’ you will have a more comfortable sentence. That is how I have always found the correct usage with ‘I’ or ‘me.’ Aren’t words fun?”Thanks for the question Sally and thanks for the responses everyone. That was fun.While boating with Tony and Kirsti Longbrake on Saguaro and Canyon Lakes last month, Tony was pointing out the local vegetation and fauna. It was fascinating to watch the bighorn sheep come down the steep terrain to drink from the lake. They would keep a close eye on us almost as if they were posing. We were able to bring the boat within about 10 feet of them for fabulous photos. There are both desert and Rocky Mountain races of bighorn sheep around the lakes. I found them majestic.Listening to Tony point out the fauna and explain their genera was educational. Tony then explained his hobby is dendrology making him a dendrologist which brings us to this month’s WOTM.Dendrology – noun den·​drol·​o·​gy den-ˈdrä-lə-jē  the scientific study of trees.

Origin and Etymology  Ancient Greek: δένδρον, dendron, “tree;” and Ancient Greek: -λογία, -logia, science of or study of

First Used – circa 1708.

Used in the News – While wandering through the woods, take advantage of the free dendrology lessons: Informative signs detail the characteristics of the surrounding linden, beech, maple and oak trees. – Ingrid K. Williams, New York Times, “36 Hours in Gothenburg, Sweden,” 10 May 2018

While the focus remained production oriented, field classes began to include dendrology (the scientific study of trees) and, by the 1960s, soils and wildlife habitat. – Jane Braxton Little, sacbee.com, “A century of Berkeley students have come to these woods – for very different reasons,” 23 June 2017

How does a dendrologist differ from an arborist? An arborist, tree surgeon, or (less commonly) arboriculturist, is a professional in the practice of arboriculture, which is the cultivation, management, and study of individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants in dendrology and horticulture.

Dendrology is often confused with botany. Botany is the study of all types of general plants. Dendrology is a subcategory of botany that specializes in the characterization and identification of woody plants.

Are there other armchair dendrologists reading this column? What might you share with our readers?  Please submit your experiences, any thoughts on this month’s column or any word you may like to share along with your insights and comments to [email protected].