In the life of a tree, the processes of growth and development occur simultaneously. Plant growth is the expansion of the vegetative organs, this is the trunk, the roots, crowns. So these are quantitative changes. Development, on the other hand, is the totality of qualitative changes, during the life of the tree - for the seed to germinate until the plant dies. The growth and development of a tree often require different conditions. The growth phases are relatively well understood, it is much more problematic to isolate development phases. However, all the observations to date indicate a great similarity of the course of these two phenomena.
The development of the tree is divided into three consecutive periods: youthful, maturity and aging. The juvenile period begins with the germination of the seed and continues until it becomes fruiting (table).
The trees then grow rapidly. The culmination of the increase is at the end of the adolescent period. During this period, trees tolerate shading and air pollution better, however, they are sensitive to frosts and droughts. However, at the end of the adolescence period, the ability to root and heal wounds is greatest.
In the period of maturity, the growth rate of trees and the intensity of life processes decrease (service life) and the ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions. The trees begin to bear fruit.
In the aging period, growth and fruiting gradually slow down, until it stops completely. Trees are losing their ability to adapt to changes in the environment. Slow dying begins, as a rule, starting with small twigs.
In green areas, trees have a beneficial effect on the environment during all three development periods. They should therefore be of interest throughout all these periods (for the forester and the fruit-grower, trees are of interest mainly in the adolescence and maturity period).
The ability to distinguish the development periods of trees is useful in introducing care treatments and in determining the value of these plants.. Burdensome urban conditions always inhibit the growth of trees, while the acceleration of development can be influenced by both too good, as well as unfavorable environmental conditions. During aging, worse conditions accelerate death. Proper soil cultivation and maintenance procedures can mitigate this unfavorable process.