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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

White Branches.jpg
The branches and leaves of a tree.

A branch (UK: /ˈbrɑːntʃ/ or UK: /ˈbræntʃ/, US: /ˈbræntʃ/) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) is a woody structural member connected to but not part of the central trunk of a tree (or sometimes a shrub). Large branches are known as boughs and small branches are known as twigs.[1]

While branches can be nearly horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, the majority of trees have upwardly diagonal branches.

The term "twig" often refers to a terminus, while "bough" refers only to branches coming directly from the trunk.



Because of the enormous quantity of branches in the world, there are a variety of names in English alone for them. In general however, unspecific words for a branch (such as rise and rame) have been replaced by the word branch itself.

Specific terms

A bough can also be called a limb or arm, and though these are arguably metaphors, both are widely accepted synonyms for bough.[2][3]

A twig is frequently referred to as a sprig as well, especially when it has been plucked.[4] Other words for twig include branchlet, spray, and surcle, as well as the technical terms surculus and ramulus.

Branches found under larger branches can be called underbranches.

Some branches from specific trees have their own names, such as osiers and withes or withies, which come from willows. Often trees have certain words which, in English, are naturally collocated, such as holly and mistletoe, which usually employ the phrase "sprig of" (as in, a "sprig of mistletoe"). Similarly, the branch of a cherry tree is generally referred to as a "cherry branch", while other such formations (i.e., "acacia branch" or "orange branch") carry no such alliance. A good example of this versatility is oak, which could be referred to as variously an "oak branch", an "oaken branch", a "branch of oak", or the "branch of an oak [tree]".

Once a branch has been cut or in any other way removed from its source, it is most commonly referred to as a stick, and a stick employed for some purpose (such as walking, spanking, or beating) is often called a rod. Thin, flexible sticks are called switches, wands, shrags, or vimina (singular vimen).

History and etymology

In Old English there are numerous words for branch, including seten, stofn, telgor, and hrīs. There are also numerous descriptive words, such as blēd (that is, something that has bled, or "bloomed", out), bōgincel (literally "little bough"), ōwæstm (literally "on growth"), and tūdornes (literally "offspringing"). Numerous other words for twigs and boughs abound, including tān, which still surves as the "-toe" in mistletoe.[5]


See also


  1. ^ Driscoll, Michael; Meredith Hamiltion, Marie Coons (May 2003). A Child's Introduction Poetry. 151 West 19th Street New York, NY 10011: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. pp. 10. ISBN 1-57912-282-5.  
  2. ^ "limb" on Merriam-Webster.
  3. ^ "arm" on Merriam-Webster.
  4. ^ "sprig" on Encarta.
  5. ^ "mistletoe" on American Heritage.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BRANCH (from the Fr. branche, late Lat. branca, an animal's paw), a limb of a tree; hence any offshoot, e.g. of a river, railway, &c., of a deer's antlers, of a family or genealogical tree, and generally a subdivision or department, as in "a branch of learning." The phrase, to destroy "root and branch," meaning to destroy utterly, taken originally from Malachi iv. 1, was made famous in 1641 by the so-called "Root and Branch" Bill and Petition for the abolition of episcopal government, in which petition occurred the sentence, "That the said government, with all its dependencies, roots and branches, be destroyed." Among technical senses of the word "branch" are: the certificate of proficiency given to pilots by Trinity House; and in siege-craft a length of trench forming part of a zigzag approach.

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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

a symbol of kings descended from royal ancestors (Ezek 17:3, 10; Dan 11:7); of prosperity (Job 8:16); of the Messiah, a branch out of the root of the stem of Jesse (Isa 11:1), the "beautiful branch" (4:2), a "righteous branch" (Jer 23:5), "the Branch" (Zech 3:8; 6:12).

Disciples are branches of the true vine (Jn 15:5, 6). "The branch of the terrible ones" (Isa 25:5) is rightly translated in the Revised Version "the song of the terrible ones," i.e., the song of victory shall be brought low by the destruction of Babylon and the return of the Jews from captivity.

The "abominable branch" is a tree on which a malefactor has been hanged (Isa 14:19). The "highest branch" in Ezek 17:3 represents Jehoiakim the king.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)

Simple English

For other uses see: Branch (disambiguation)

.]] Branch is the part of a tree from which leaves grow.

  • It can also mean a smaller group of something. Like the branches of science e.g: biology - zoology
  • It can also mean things that are in the shape of branches.
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