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the branch of botany that is concerned with the natural history of trees and shrubs
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a branch of botany that studies tree species (trees, shrubs, and low shrubs), the main elements of forest biogeocenoses. Dendrology evolved as an independent discipline from other branches of botany (morphology, anatomy, physiology, taxonomy, plant ecology, and so forth).

The first works on dendrology appeared in the middle of the 18th century and were limited to descriptions of the morphological and taxonomic features of the plants along with a reference to the geographic range of the species. In the late 19th and early 20th century botanist-taxonomists and foresters began to play an important part in the development of dendrology. Among them were the Russian investigators I. I . Lepekhin, S. P. Krasheninnikov, A. F. Middendorf, P. S. Pallas, K. I. Maksimovich, E. L. Regel’, la. S. Medvedev, and G. F. Morozov; the German botanists L. Beissner and J. Fitschen; the American floristics expert and taxonomist A. Rehder; and the English botanist E. Sargeant. As more knowledge was gained in dendrology, it became necessary to describe the array of trees and shrubs—those that are wild, cultivated, or promising for cultivation—in terms of their biology and ecology, ranges, methods of cultivation, industrial properties of the wood, and resistance to diseases and pests and to indicate their suitability for landscaping. Thus, in the USSR the survey Trees and Shrubs of the USSR (vols. 1-7, 1949-65, Botanical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR) describes 2,883 species that grow in the USSR and 2,177 species of imported trees and shrubs. Surveys on a regional scale have also been published on the trees and shrubs of the Ukraine, Byelorussia, the Caucasus, Kirghizia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Middle Asia, the Far East, Sakhalin, and so forth. Similar works appeared abroad in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Finland, Bulgaria, and other countries. Monographs were subsequently issued on genera and species; this was due to the development of general biology and especially of such branches of biology as genetics, breeding, and theory of species.

In the USSR, the scope and content of research in dendrology were predetermined by V. N. Sukachev, who showed (1928-33) that it should be devoted not only to the morphological and taxonomic description of trees and shrubs but also to intraspecific variations, geographic distribution, and history of the formation, development, and evolution of a species. These ideas were reflected in monographs on such subjects as larches of the European USSR, Eastern Siberia, and the Far East (Forest Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR), Scotch pine (forestry laboratory of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR), and willows (Moscow University). Similar research was conducted abroad (in the USA on the pine by N. T. Mirov; in Yugoslavia on the beech by V. Misic). Forms valuable in breeding both for direct use in forestation and for intraspecific and interspecific hybridization were discovered. Patterns were detected in the structure of natural forest populations, geographic variability, and evolution. Analysis of the karyotypes of trees within a species became essential for purposes of breeding (in remote hybridization, experimental mutagenesis, polyploidy) and especially in the study of spontaneous hybridization in nature (spruce, pine, larch, birch). Study of the morphology of chromosomes in various species and intraspecific groups is of value in matters concerning their origin, extent to which they differ from one another, and in understanding the evolution of karyotypes. Scientists in several countries (USSR, Sweden, USA) have just begun such research. It signifies a new and important stage in the development of dendrology.

The results of research in dendrology in the USSR are discussed in the All-Union Botanical Society and various societies of naturalists. The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) sponsors annual symposiums. An international forest congress is held once every five years.

Studies on dendrology are published in the Soviet periodicals Lesovedenie (Forest Science, since 1967), hv. Vysshikh uchebnykh zavedenii: Lesnoi zhurnal (Bulletin of the Higher Educational Establishments: Forestry Journal, Arkhangel’sk, since 1955), Lesnoe khoziaistvo (Forestry, since 1948), Botanicheskii zhurnal (Botanical Journal, since 1916), and in other sources, including Doklady AN SSSR (Reports of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, since 1933), reports of the republic academies of sciences, and transactions of scientific research institutes, higher educational institutions, and botanical gardens. The international journal Silvae Genetica (Forest Genetics, Frankfurt am Main) has been published since 1951. Dendrological journals and annuals are published in Sweden, Finland, France, Great Britain, the USA, Japan, and other countries; they include Bulletin de la société dendrologique de France (Paris, since 1906), Bois et forêts des tropiques (Woods and Forests of the Tropics, Paris, since 1956), Erdészeti Kutatások (Forest Research, Budapest, since 1954), Allgemeine Forst-und holzwirtschaftliche Zeitung (General Forestry and Lumber Newspaper, Vienna, since 1890), Sylwan (Warsaw, since 1820), and Gorsko stopanstvo (Forestry, Sofia, since 1945). In the USSR, dendrology is taught as a separate course in forestry and wood technology higher educational institutions and in forestry and landscaping technicums. Botanical gardens and arboretums have collections of live trees and shrubs representing both native and foreign dendroflora.


Sukachev, V. N. Lesnye porody: Sistematika, geografiia i fitosotsiologiia ikh, part 1. Moscow, 1928.
Dendrologiia s osnovami lesnoi geobotaniki, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1938.
Grozdov, B. V. Dendrologiia, 2nd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960.
Dylis, N. V. “Poluvekovoi put’ razvitiia dendrologii v SSSR.” Lesovedenie, 1967, no. 6.
Vorob’ev, D. P. Dikorastushchie derev’ia i kustarniki Dal’nego Vostoka. Leningrad, 1968.
Handbuch der Nadelholzkunde, 3rd ed. Berlin, 1930.
Rehder, A. Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs Hardy in North America, 2nd ed. New York, 1940.
Svoboda, P. Lesni dŕeviny ajejich porosty, part 1. Prague, 1953.
Jehličnaté. Prague, 1953.
Mišić, V. Varijabilitet i ekologija bukve ujugoslaviji. Belgrade, 1957.
Durveta i khrasti v gorite na Bulgariia. Sofia, 1959. (With bibliography.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The division of forestry concerned with the classification, identification, and distribution of trees and other woody plants.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


The branch of botany involving the study of trees and shrubs.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Dendrologists are scientists that study the lives of trees to help improve the quality of life for people and the environment.
And perhaps only expert knowledge, embodied by and embedded in the work of climatologists, geologists, oceanographers, dendrologists and paleobotanists, can give us that view.
Arborists, foresters, dendrologists, and big tree hunters also require such plants to achieve a certain size or else be relegated to the ignominy of a shrub.
Biologists, dendrologists, and ecologists are interested in the sizes and ranges of plant communities and specific plants.