Difference Between Plant and Tree


Main Difference

The main difference between Plant and Tree is that Plants classified as kingdom Plantae whereas trees are large woody plants.

Plant vs. Tree

Plants are static, multi-celled eukaryotic. A tree is a kind of plant. Plants and trees have their place in kingdom Plantae, but trees are loftier than plants. Plants complete their growing and reproductive cycle in one or two years while trees take more than two years. Plants have small height grows some feet. The height of the trees is higher. The roots of plants are thin; on the other hand, the roots of the stem are thick and provides deep anchorage to earth.


Plants possess one or multiple soft stems. Trees have a hard woody stem. Plants grow near the ground or in the form of vines. Trees flourish tall in a pyramid or round shapes. Trees can survive better in harsh circumstances as compared to plants. The natural life of plants is less. Trees can live for 300 years.

Plants absorb sunlight and can make their food, but some plants cannot prepare their food and get prepared food. Trees are photoautotrophs. Leaves of plants are near to stem whereas tree leaves grow on branches away from the stem. Plants do not a response to environmental stimuli. Trees move towards the stimuli of sunlight, water or any growth pattern. Plants provide flowers and fruits. Trees produce fruit, shelter, and timber.


Comparison Chart

Plants belong to the kingdom Plantae.The tree is a type of woody and tall plants.
No specific shapeTriangle, column or round
Biennials, annualPerennials
One or multiple stemsWoody stem
One to ten yearsUp to 300 years
Unfavorable Conditions
Survives lessSurvives better
Food Pattern
Some are heterotrophsPhotoautotrophs
Apical Dominance

What is Plant?

Plants are constituents of kingdom Plantae. Plants are multicellular, eukaryotic, autotrophic, green, and static organisms. Bryophytes are the first plants that lived on earth. These plants evolved from algae. The vascular system is absent; the water and food move by osmosis and diffusion. Bryophytes survive only in water, therefore, called amphibians of plants. Evidence suggests that leaves, flowers, seeds, vascular tissues evolve after it.

Different classes of plants are present now, which includes herbs, shrubs, ferns, and conifers. However, plants are flower producing while some plants do not produce flowers. Plants have specific parts which perform different functions. Roots of plants are thin and short which holds plants to ground — stem transfer material from root to other parts of the plant. Leaves are green and possess mesophyll cells which help in photosynthesis.

Plants can make their food from sunlight and water absorbed from the land. The stems of most plants are delicate and non-woody. Plants have one or more stems, which originate from the roots and flourish upward. Plants produce fruits and flowers. Plants grow nearer to the ground can be in the form of vines. Vines do not possess strong stems and need horizontal support for further growth. Vines supply vegetables and fruits such as pumpkin, watermelon, melon, grapes, and bitter gourd. Plants are also used for beautification purposes. Plants are cut in different shapes and sizes for decoration of gardens.

What is Tree?

Trees are giant plants. They have a single woody trunk. The exterior layer of the stem is called bark. The bark contains some pores from which transpiration occurs. The trunk is made up of cellulose. Trees grow taller from 10 to 250 feet. Trees grow mostly in some regions in which the average temperature is greater.

The shape of trees varies with location. In mountainy areas trees are long and pyramid shape. Some trees branch out in circle form. The roots of the trees are thick and deep. The roots absorb minerals and transport it to leaves for the preparation of food. Woody stem contains vascular bundles xylem and phloem tissues. Xylem tissues carry absorbed minerals from roots to leaves, and phloem tissues act as a vehicle to transfer prepared food from leaves to other parts.

Trees are healthy and can survive in stress conditions such as heat, cold and unfavorable environments. These are stress-tolerant means they can live with a shortage of food and water. Trees live more than a hundred years some live more than 300 years. Trees are perennial plants means their growth cycle completes in more than two years. They bear fruits and flowers such as mango, banana, and cherry. The conifer class of plants is called trees.

The wood from trees is applicable for many purposes. Industries use wood for heating and burning purposes. Heat produces in furnaces by burning wood. Wood is a raw material for the manufacture of many household items such as wood tables, chairs, benches, furniture, pencils, etc.; furthermore, trees provide shelter for animals and birds.

Key Differences

  1. Plants are multi-celled eukaryotes while the tree is a category of plants.
  2. Plants are often close to the ground, whereas trees are a pyramid, columnar, and circle-shaped.
  3. Plants are biennials or annual conversely trees are perennials.
  4. Plants height is small to some feet on the flip side trees are taller.
  5. Plants have soft, and multiple stems, on the other hand, trees have a woody trunk.
  6. Plants flourish for less period while trees live for a hundred years.
  7. Plants can tolerate unsuitable conditions, whereas trees survive better in stressful circumstances.
  8. Plants can prepare their food, but some are heterotrophs on the flip side all trees pass from the process of photosynthesis.
  9. Plants do not a response to environmental stimuli conversely trees show apical dominance.


Plant and tree are members of kingdom Plantae, but plants are short and have delicate stems whereas trees are hard woody and tall plants.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White