Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Dendro- - The Root of Tree Words

A tree in sepia tones
Photo by Oscar Paradela


Combining form of Greek dendron tree.

For those that love trees, the prefix dendro- offers the perfect platform from which to branch out into a wider arborescent vocabulary. For example, a lover of trees is a dendrophile, and as such likely has an appreciation for all things dendroid (tree-shaped). Talking of tree shapes, a dendrite is a stone or mineral that bears a natural tree-like structure, and can thus be described as dendriticIf you're really serious, then you may even be a student of dendrochronology, which is the science of dating events through the study of the rings in ancient timber. Of course, this comes under the broader canopy of dendrology, the science of trees, a discipline practised by dendrologists who are, of course, all completely barking.

Do you have any favourite dendro- words?

Make a like a tree and leave your most deciduous comments in the box below.


  1. It's always seemed a pity that the rhododendron - literally, the rose tree - has such a bumpy sort of a name. They're not that bad!

    1. Rhododendron almost sound like it were the name of a dinosaur; with a bumpy back

    2. I never realised that, Sally. I don't know what 'rhododendron' sounds like, but it doesn't sound like a flower.

  2. Dendroscopy - a technique for looking into the interior of trees; usually with a Dendroscope.

  3. Dendrochronology was a running gag during my last two university years. Seemed like on every exam we took, the professors asked "give the definition and a use for dendrochronology". Eacht time we came out of the exam room we winked at eachother, smiled and said: "Dendrochronology yo".

    You had to be there.

  4. In my time as Research Assistant in an Archaeology Lab., dendrochronology was a common everday term as it was a method of verifying radiocarbon dating.

  5. A Dendritic Fulgurite. If in doubt as to what it is, look up paleolightning.

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