A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Tree. n.s. [trie, Islandick; tree, Danish.]

  1. A large vegetable rising, with one woody stem, to a considerable height.

    Trees and shrubs, of our native growth in England, are distinguished by Ray. 1. Such as have their flowers disjointed and remote from the fruit; and these are, 1. Nuciferous ones; as, the walnut tree, the hazel-nut tree, the beach, the chesnut, and the common oak. 2. Coniferous ones; of this kind are the Scotch firs, male and female; the pine, the common alder tree, and the birch tree. 3. Bacciferous; as, the juniper and yew trees. 4. Lanigerous ones; as, the black, white, and trembling poplar, willows, and osiers of all kinds. 5. Such as bear their seeds, having an imperfect flower, in leafy membranes; as, the horse-bean. 6. Such as have their fruits and flowers contiguous; of these some are pomiferous; as, apples and pears: and some bacciferous; as, the sorb or service tree, the white or hawthorn, the wild rose, sweet brier, currants, the great bilbery bush, honeysuckle, joy. Pruniferous ones, whose fruit is pretty large and soft, with a stone in the middle; as, the black-thorn or sloe tree, the black and white bullace tree, the black cherry, &c. Bacciferous ones; as, the strawberry tree in the west of Ireland, mistletoe, water elder, the dwarf, a large laurel, the viburnum or way-fairing tree, the dog-berry tree, the sea black thorn, the berry-bearing elder, the privet barberry, common elder, the holy, the buckthorn, the berry-bearing heath, the bramble, and spindle tree or prickwood. Such as have their fruit dry when ripe; as, the bladder nut tree, the box tree, the common elm and ash, the maple, the gaule or sweet willow, common heath, broom, dryers wood, furze or gorse, the lime tree, &c. Miller.

    Sometimes we see a cloud that's dragonish,
    A forked mountain, or blue promontory
    With trees upon't, that nod unto the world,
    And mock our eyes with air.
    Shakesp. Ant. and Cleopatra.

    Who can bid the tree unfix his earth-bound root. Shak.

    It is pleasant to look upon a tree in Summer covered with green leaves, decked with blossoms, or laden with fruit, and casting a pleasant shade: but to consider how this tree sprang from a little seed, how nature shaped and fed it till it came to this greatness, is a more rational pleasure. Burnet.

    Trees shoot up in one great stem, and at a good distance from the earth, spread into branches: thus gooseberries are shrubs, and oaks are trees. Locke.

  2. Any thing branched out.

    Vain are their hopes who fancy to inherit,
    By trees of pedigrees, or fame or merit:
    Though plodding heralds through each branch may trace
    Old captains and dictators of their race.

Sources: Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (57) · Burnet, Thomas (45) · Dryden, John (788) · Locke, John (269) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Miller, Philip (58) · Ray, John (59)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Tree." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 12, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/tree/.

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