Architecture analysis :
a tool for tree life history knowledge
Tree growth and architecture
Growth and branching processes
Two elementary processes lead to tree development : growth and branching.
Growth process originates in apical bud where is located the apical meristem tissue. At this place cells division
and elongation take place to generate new elements of the leafy axis (node, internode, leaf, axillary bud) that expand
when buds break. So the growth process includes organ formation (organogenesis) and organs expansion (extension phase).
Meristem is a set of embryonic cells situated at the apical part of each axis. These particular cells are always able to divide and thus to generate new cells which can then differentiate in specialized cells constituting tissue (pith, epidermal tissue, vascular bundles...) or foliar organs. The division activity of meristematic cells also generate small set of embryonic cells: the axillary meristems from where originate (are issued) lateral shoots
Branching process allows a plant to explore many directions, from an axis through new lateral axes. It includes lateral
buds initiation and their development (Caraglio & Barthélémy 1997 ).