Is a saguaro an tree?

Is a saguaro an tree?

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    It's a bush

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    DORFORT calls it a tree, that's good enough for me

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Cacti are any plant that is a succulent but for some reason we dont want to call a succulent.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      That's wrong. Cacti are plants in the family Cactaceae, and they're native to the Americas.
      There are many other groups of succulents, such as Euphorbia, Agave and Pachypodium that are not cacti and not closely related to cacti.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >There are many other groups of succulents that are not cacti
        I didnt say all succulents are cacti.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        cacti are succulents but not all succulents are cacti
        cactus refers to a specific family Cactaceae

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Joshua trees are technically yucca so if you want to call a saguaro a tree then go ahead.

  5. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    thats a good question
    trees arent a monophyletic taxon, and the definition seems to be "woody plant with trunk supporting branches"
    underneath the green part is wood, so a saguaro has a woody trunk that supports branches, so I guess you could say its a tree.
    at the very least its very tree-like.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      leaves?

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        cactus needles are modified leaves, like pine needles

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          That doesn't mean much; a true nut is a modified fruit but we don't call acorns fruits.
          Cacti don't photosynthesize through their spines so even if they're derived form leaves I don't think it's fitting to call them leaves anymore.
          And while "Tree" can be a fuzzy category I think a saguaro has enough dissimilarities to make putting it in the category of tree unhelpful. Like when someone tells a person to think of a tree they're usually thinking "tall plant with a hard woody trunk, bark and leaves."
          Saguaros have a relatively thin wooden internal structure compared to the solid lignin of most "trees", they don't have woody bark and don't have leaves (in the manner we think of leaves).
          Saguaros have always felt like their own thing to me, never thought of them compared to trees before and putting thought into it hasn't changed that association for me.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >but we don't call acorns fruits.
            I would not attempt to argue with someone who calls an acorn a fruit though

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              Depends on if you think the botanical, colloquial or original definition of these things is more important I suppose, because they all conflict.
              None of it really matters in the end but the fact that some people get so uppity about their position whatever it is is annoying sometimes, it's all vague categories.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                >colloquial
                irrelevant, normies can get bent

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                I think it's pretty relevant considering these words themselves start from colloquialisms and are then the scientific community attempts to map them onto some sort of scientific basis.
                Anyways there's no real reason why a category can't be defined differently depending on the field or perspective you're using, there's no reason why an ecological tree and a botanical tree can't be equally valid categories even if they're defined differently.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Depends on if you think the botanical, colloquial or original definition of these things is more important I suppose, because they all conflict.
            None of it really matters in the end but the fact that some people get so uppity about their position whatever it is is annoying sometimes, it's all vague categories.

            I think it's best to look at it from an ecological perspective, it strips away a lot of the subjectivity of the definition of "tree".
            I personally don't actually know enough about saguaros to say if they serve similar ecological niches as trees, but it's probably the most objective way to view this.

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              You know I don't think there's any real objectively correct categorization of tree, as in while I think that what you're saying could be one good way to define it I don't know if it's objectively better than the others as they all serve kind've different purposes. The botanical description I've ripped from wikipedia and pasted here serves whatever botanists do; yours being vaguely the role in the ecosystem (which has merit for sure but then we have to get into the weeds of trying to define the criteria for what qualities make up an ecological "tree") serves to make sense of ecoloies by giving them shared roles; the colloquial definition being basically any tall leafy thing (like how people refer to banana plants as trees when they technically aren't) being just about casual visual communication and then a more humanist definition of how it serves humans (being a source of wood and cover for instance, which is why we don't call smaller woody plants trees we call them things like shrubs or bushes) that i believe falls in line with the original usages of "Tree".
              So I think the most objective way to define a tree really depends on your motivation for and usage of the definition.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            acorns are fruits though

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          But they're not for photosynthesizing anymore, so they're not really leaves.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            says whom

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              Would you call legs fins or halteres wings?
              Something being derived from something doesn't necessarily mean it is that thing anymore.

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