Collective Nouns for Trees

When is a forest not a Forest, and a wood not a copse but a spinney? I’ve put together a list of collective nouns for trees from the English language from arboretum to woodland. Perhaps some will be new to you; maybe I’ve missed one that you know.

A clump of trees on the top of a hill, and a hedge near the valley bottom with small standards, lit by the winter solstice sun. Photo Gabriel Hemery.
collective noundescription
arboretum (plural arboreta)botanical collection of trees, often supporting public education and science activities, including genetic conservation. See list of UK arboreta
avenuerow of trees, often a double row, marking an approach to a feature or lining the sides of a road. e.g. lime avenue
bushwooded area but usually not densely populated with trees
cantblock within a woodland (usually 2-5 acres) often used to described an area under coppice management, with the number of cants equal to the rotation length (e.g. with 14 year coppice rotation, there will be 14 cants)
chaparraldense thickets of trees in the Mediterranean region (Europe), California (USA) and Mexico, usually comprising evergreen broadleaved species adapted to hot dry summers
clearingan area clear of trees in a wood or forest, sometimes created when trees are felled for timber or kept free to enhance biodiversity or landscape
clumphilltop group of trees, often prominent in the landscape
compartmentmanagement unit of a forest, used as a technical term among foresters to define areas under similar management or with discrete mixtures of tree species
coupean area within a woodland where the trees are to be felled
coppicerefers to the management practice of coppicing, although sometimes used to describe an area managed as a coppice crop e.g. sweet chestnut coppice
copsetechnically an area managed as coppice but commonly used to describe a small wood. e.g. Piles Copse
dellsmall valley or hollow, usually ( but not always) covered with trees
forest or ForestWith a capital ‘F’ refers historically to a royal hunting forest (e.g. Forest of Dean, New Forest), but in modern usage with a lowercase used widely describe a large area of trees, although often interchangeably with wood or woodland
grovea small group of trees, generally of an attractive nature
hagga clearing in a wood or forest, from Old Norse and used still in northern England
hangersmall group of trees on a hillside or slope
hedge or hedgerowa line of trees, often comprising shrub species, traditionally planted and maintained to mark a boundary or to contain livestock. In some part of Britain (e.g. Devon) they are planted on top of soil-filled double stone walls. Traditionally managed by laying, and sometimes with occasional large trees left uncut to grow as ‘standards’
krummholztrees growing at high latitudes and in exposed situations where their growth is stunted by extreme cold and wind, creating dwarfed and contorted forms
monoculturea group of trees consisting of a single species (e.g. in a plantation) or genetic similarity (e.g. a natural group of clonal aspen grown from suckers)
orchardan area of trees planted and managed for their crop of fruit or nuts, typically using specific varieties to improve food quality and volume production
pinetuma collection of pine (Pinus spp.) trees forming a special type of arboretum
plantationan area of trees deliberately planted by man as a forest operation, typically for timber production although not exclusively
Quercetuma collection of oak (Quercus spp.) trees forming a special type of arboretum
shrubberyan area of small trees (shrubs) in a garden
spinneya small area of trees, like a copse or wood but traditionally created and managed for hunting game
standa forestry term used to describe an area of a forest with uniform tree species, structure, age, size etc., similar to a compartment
thicketa dense area of trees, often impenetrable to people
withya group of willows, often in a damp or boggy area
wood or woodlandboth terms are used interchangeably, see also forest
xylariumThis doesn’t belong here but I like the term! It refers to a collection of woody specimens, as a ‘herbarium’ is for plants.
Collection Nouns for Trees
collective nouns for trees
collective nouns for trees

Have I missed any terms for groups of trees?

Please add comments below and I will update the list. Thanks

2 thoughts on “Collective Nouns for Trees

  1. I believe a Pinetum is a collection of conifers not just pines. How about Closed Forest – at least 80% canopy cover – versus Open Forest – between 10 and 30% canopy cover. Then there are Parks and other Wood Pastures. We are doing work exploring the Standards in local hedgerows, by the way, in much of Devon the bank is the hedge, anything planted on top is a bonus. In windy areas, Shelter Belts are common. Veteran Trees deserve a mention, especially if they are in what is left of the Wildwood.
    I can recommend the Royal Forestry Society’s Glossary of Tree Terms.

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