sapling
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CG: n

CT: A tree sapling is an immature tree with a slender trunk. Depending on the species of tree, a sapling can be between three and 15 years old, and range in height from 2 to 10 feet (about 0.61 to 3.05 m). Saplings differ from seedlings, which are trees that are less than three years old. The principal attributes of a tree sapling, aside from its age, are trunk flexibility and smooth bark; mature trees generally have thicker, darker outer bark. Ordinarily, saplings do not produce fruit or flowers. In most cases, the best stage at which to plant a tree is when it is a sapling. Seedlings, because of their small size and lack of development, are considerably more vulnerable to physical damage and disease. In contrast, trees that are larger than saplings are difficult to move because of their size and extensive root structure.
When planting a sapling, its size and shape at maturity should be taken into consideration. For example, the growth of a mature tree may reach overhead power lines; alter the scale of the landscape in relationship to buildings; or drop branches, leaves, and flowers in undesirable areas. Large roots can eventually enter and damage pipes in the ground or buckle nearby sidewalks and driveways.

S: WG – http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-tree-sapling.htm (last access: 10 December 2014).

N: 1. Early 14c., from sap + diminutive suffix –ling. This probably is the source of American English slang sap “club, short staff” (1899) and the verb sap “to hit (someone) with a sap” (1926). 2. A loose term for a young tree no longer a seedling but not yet a pole, i.e. > a few feet high and an inch or so in d.b.h., typically growing vigorously and without dead bark or more than an occasional dead branch. 3. Many countries fix arbitrary size limits, e.g. 1/2 to 3 1/2in d. b.h (Canada), 2 to 4in d.b.h. (USA), = 6in d. b.h. (Australia), from 3ft high till the lower branches begin to fall (India).

S: 1. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=sapling&allowed_in_frame=0 (last access 9 December). 2 & 3. GDT (last access 9 December).

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CR: biomass, biomass energy, [clear cutting], pruning, stump