Difference Between Plant and Tree

Main Difference – Plant vs Tree

All living things in the world can be divided into five kingdoms named Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protista and Monera. Both plants and trees belong to the kingdom Plantae. All the species that belong to the kingdom Plantae are called plants. They are multicellular eukaryotes. Trees are woody perennial plants that typically has a single stem or trunk growing to a considerable height. By these definitions, we can discern that all trees fall into the category of plants, but not all plants can be named as trees. This can be considered as the main difference between plant and tree.

What is a Plant

Plants are multicellular eukaryotes of the kingdom Plantae. Trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, ferns, and mosses are examples of plants. Plants typically grow in a permanent site and absorb water and necessary nutrients through their roots. Most plants obtain energy from the sunlight through photosynthesis. This process enables plants to make their  food. Green plants contain a pigment called chlorophyll, and it is this pigment that is responsible for the characteristic green color of leaves.

Directly or indirectly, plants produce food, fuel, shelter, clothing and many other necessities of life. Humans and animals cannot exist on earth without plants. Mankind’s existence depends on plants; human diet consist many plant-based foods, and animal products are dependent on plants.Main Difference - Plant vs Tree

What is a Tree

A tree is a type of plant. It is a woody perennial plant that has a single stem or trunk growing to a considerable height. The height is an evolutionary adaptation that can be noticed in different types of plants; by growing taller trees can obtain more sunlight than other kinds of plants.  As the term perennial suggests, trees tend to have a longer life when compared with other plants.

The trunk or the stem of the tree bears lateral branches at some distance from the ground. These branches can divide into smaller branches and shoots. The shoots characteristically bear leaves; the green leaves are capable of capturing light energy and converting it into sugars by photosynthesis, thereby providing the food for the tree’s growth and development.

The trunk of a tree contains woody tissue that strengthen the trunk and vascular tissue that carry materials from one part of the tree to another. The outermost layer of the trunk, which acts as a protective barrier is called bark. The roots of a tree act as its anchor and absorb water and nutrients from the soil.

Trees provide food, shade, and shelter, fuel for cooking and heating, timber for construction and many other uses.Difference Between Plant and Tree

Difference Between Plant and Tree


Plants belong to the kingdom Plantae.

Trees are a type of plants.


Plants can be of various sizes.

Trees are typically the largest of plant family.


Plants such as shrubs and grasses are short and are closer to the ground.

Trees can be various sizes; generally, they are taller than other plants.

Trunk or stem

Plants, apart from trees, have soft stems.

Trees generally have hard, woody stems.


Most plants, aside from trees, do not live long.

Some trees can live up to hundreds of years under favorable conditions.Difference Between Plant and Tree- infographic

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