Life Cycle of a Tree. As with all living things, trees have a life cycle – from conception (seed), to birth (sprout), to infancy (seedling), to juvenile (sapling), to adult (mature), to elderly (decline), and finally to death (snag/rotting log).
Seeds come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the variety of the tree. All seeds develop from male and female parts of the trees by producing fruits. However, not all of them are easily recognizable or edible for other life. Some seeds come with a protective nut or shell around the seed. You’ll find this on acorn and hazelnuts. Some seeds are found inside the flesh of the fruit. Pear, apple, or cherry trees are good examples. Some seeds are found in protective pods or cones. These seeds drop to the ground as is the case of a pinecone, or helicopter away when falling in the wind. While humans have changed nature by having the ability to control the planting process, nature disperses seeds in different ways. The wind can carry seeds for miles. Drop a seed in the water, and it can land in different zones. Animals can carry them in a variety of ways, moving them throughout their territory. Anywhere conditions are favorable, a seed will stick, germinate, sprout, and grow.
While every seed is a tiny embryo, not all seeds will germinate. The seed needs favorable conditions to sprout to life. It needs the right environmental conditions and the perfect nutrients (including water, a food source, and sunshine) to break through the seed coating, grow, expand, and come to life. If conditions are right, the sprout starts forming roots from the very beginning. It grows downward into the soil to anchor the sprout and begins looking for water and nutrients it will need to thrive. It also grows upward seeking sunlight. And if it finds the right combination, it will produce leaves, needles, or scales to further allow the tree to begin making its own food through photosynthesis.
A sapling is a tree in its juvenile state. It is usually one to four inches in diameter. This is the size you’ll typically find at your local nursery waiting to be planted. A juvenile tree is perfect for transplanting into your yard. However, it is not mature enough to reproduce. It’s growing rapidly and has lots of energy to give it the best chance at life. It needs care to keep it on the right track and ensure it stays a part of your landscape for years to come.
the tree gets more developrd and is now a small tree which will grow bigger by the years
the tree is now large and growing fruits
the fruits falls down to the ground and gets fertilized and the seeds grow and the cycle repeats