Learn with Hanford Mills

The Anatomy of Trees




Learn the anatomical parts of a tree and the purpose of each part.


Students will draw and label diagrams of trees and describe the purposes of each part of the tree based on research in their textbooks.



  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • Class Time: 45 minutes


  • On the board, write the important parts of a tree.
  • At the beginning of class, give each student a blank piece of paper or a blank copy of the Diagram of Tree Anatomy.
  • Ask students to draw a tree on their paper (skip if using the diagram) and to label the parts of the tree that are written on the board.
  • Explain that each part of the tree serves a purpose, just like each part of our body serves a purpose. On the back of their tree diagram, or on another piece of paper, ask students to describe the purpose of each part of the tree. You may wish to allow them to use their textbooks for this activity.
  • Go over the diagrams and descriptions with the class.


  • The diagram created by each student
  • The written descriptions
  • Participation in class discussion (listening and speaking)

NYS Learning Standards:

  • ELA 1
  • ELA Standard 1
  • Math, Science and Tech. Standard 4

Vocabulary & Spelling Words

Bark – n. the outside covering of the trunks, branches, and roots of woody plants.

Branch – n. a woody part of a tree or bush that grows out from the trunk.

Cambium – n. the thin layer between the inner bark (phloem) and wood of a tree. It helps both grow.

Heartwood – n. the center part or past growth of a tree.

Leaf – n. one of the usually green, flat parts of a plant or tree that grows from the stem or branch.

Phloem – n. the layer of the trunk through which the tree’s food flows. It is located between the outer bark and the cambium. It is also known as the “inner bark”.

Root – n. the part of a plant that usually grows underground, absorbs water and food, and attaches the plant to the soil.

Sapwood – n. the newer layers of wood between the bark and the heartwood that conduct water and sap in a tree. A new layer is added each year, forming growth rings.

Tree – n. a woody plant that has a long main trunk and many branches.

Trunk – n. the main stem of a tree.