Dwarfing human beings and dominating most landscapes, trees are the most conspicuous and majestic living organisms around us. Despite their fundamentally simple structure, they dramatically alter the landscape and draw our attention. Due to tree immobility and the wide range of environmental features found on land, each tree species grows within a limited geographic range and under only certain conditions. Individuals of the same species as well as different parts of the same tree vary in form because of differences in the conditions they encounter as they develop. Trees' varied growth patterns and their dominant visual presence yield many, easy-to-make observations about size, shape, growth patterns, leaves, and reproductive structures.
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