DECORATIVE MEANING OF TREES
Every tree, like many other plants, may be decorative. It very much depends on the quality of its external characteristics, which we refer to as plastic.
Artistic features of trees
We include the basic artistic features: size, solid form and its character, that is, the habit, the internal and external structure of the tree crown and the overall color of the tree or parts of it Plastic features can be decorative and non-decorative. Plastic features of trees growing under appropriate conditions, healthy, with normally developed crowns and well cared for, they are almost always decorative. On the other hand, the plastic features of a neglected tree, with prematurely drying leaves, infested with diseases and pests or with serious mechanical damage, they are decorative. We have a lot of neglected, merciless and damaged trees in our vicinity. The existence of decorative features and the durability of their preservation depend to a very large extent on the entirety of the conditions conducive to the proper growth and development of the tree as well as on the maintenance treatments. Care treatments discussed later, ensuring the proper living conditions for the tree, they always lead to the emergence and development of decorative and aesthetic values of trees and their arrangements. Below we will briefly discuss the basic plastic features.
Size. The sizes of the trees vary greatly, depending on hereditary characteristics and growing conditions. Height is the most common description in species descriptions. According to the height, the trees are divided into 5 group: very low to 4 m, low 4-8 m, medium high 8-12 m high 12-20 m and very tall – above 20 m. Species characteristics usually specify the tree height typical of a tree of a certain age or achievable by a tree of a given species. Trees growing in less favorable conditions for growth, e.g.. in cities, they reach much lower heights than trees growing in a natural favorable environment. For a more precise definition of the tree size, the width of the crown may also be given, that is, its diameter, and the diameter of the trunk. Knowing the size of trees of different ages and under different conditions is of great importance in designing various multi-species systems of woody plants as garden compositions. It allows, above all, to provide individual species with adequate space for unhindered growth, and at the same time adapting them to other elements of the environment.
Slice. A tree habit is a specific solid form with axial symmetry achieved by a given species under conditions of unrestricted growth, that is, in free space. The variety of trees' habit is very large and is of great artistic importance in spatial compositions. The way of defining the habit forms is not standardized in the dendrological literature and there is quite a lot of freedom in creating names for different forms..
Drawing. More common tree crown shapes:1 – narrow conical, 2 – conical, 3 – wide conical, 4 -flat-conical, 5 – narrowly ellipsoidal, 6 – ellipsoidal, spherical, 8 -plaskoelipsoidalny, 9 – narrowly inversely conical 10 – inversely conical, 11 – wide inversely conical, 12 – flat, inversely conical.
The figure shows the most common habit forms and the names established for them, derived from three lumps: bullet, ellipsoids and cones. The most common factors hindering the formation of a natural habit or causing its distortion are: limiting the access of light, that is, shading, defects in the structure of the crown, various mechanical damage, etc.. Crowns that do not show axial symmetry and do not have a regular outline of the outer surface are usually called irregular crowns.
The condition for producing a habit appropriate for a given species is first of all to ensure and maintain a sufficiently free surrounding space. Creating appropriately loose arrangements of woody plants is also a condition for the visual use of their plastic values. A tree's habit can change with age. In older trees, the width of the crowns is usually greater than their height, that is, in many cases they become more extensive.