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Tree, (fr. arbre): the tree is a very common bearing in later heraldry, but is very rare, if used at all, in early arms. In the arms of Sir Rauf de CHEYNDUT the cheyne probably means only the acorn, as in the arms of MORIENS the leaves only of the mulberry-tree are intended. But in later arms several examples will be found, both of trees generally and special kinds of trees and shrubs(fr. arbustes). Amongst these are found the oak(fr. chêne), (the most frequent); apple(fr. pommier); orange(fr. oranger); fig(fr. figuier); ash(fr. frêne); elm(fr. orme and ormeau); hawthorn(fr. aubépin); holly(fr. houx); laurel(fr. laurier); maple; palm(fr. palmier); pine(fr. pin); fir(fr. sapin); cedar; cypress(fr. cyprès); poplar(fr. peuplier); willow(fr. saule); and yew. Also the leaves and branches of several other trees, e.g. beech(fr. hêtre); mulberry(fr. murier); olive(fr. olivier); walnut(fr. noyer); nut(fr. noisetier). (See Synopsis.)

In French arms, besides those noted above, have been observed, baume(balsam); buis(box); cormier(service-tree); châtagnier(chestnut); aubier(sap-wood); gui(mistletoe); neflier(medlar); but no English examples of these have been observed.


When the term tree only is named without any adjunct, it may be considered to be that of the oak, and may be drawn like the example given under that term. But more frequently it is subjected to some special treatment, e.g. it may have the appearance of being torn up by the roots, to which the term eradicated(fr. arraché) is applied(and this is a better term than erased, which should only be applied to parts of animals). The tree is often trunked, i.e. truncated(fr. étêté), pollard(fr. écimé), or lopped(fr. écoté); or it may be couped, so that the section is seen in perspective, and in that case the term snagged should be applied. Again it may be withered(fr. sec); or it may be broken, or blasted, or without branches(fr. ébranché). A full-grown tree is said to be accrued. A tree may be fructed(fr. fruité), and this applied to the oak(q.v.) would signify with acorns(fr. englanté). When the trunk is a different tincture from the rest of the tree the French use the term fûté.


Argent, a tree growing out of a mount in base vert, in chief three mullets gules--WATT, Scotland.

Argent, on a mount in base a branched tree vert--BARETREY.

Gules, the stem and trunk of a tree eradicated as also couped, in pale, sprouting out two branches argent--BOROUGH, Leicester.

Per pale argent and gules, a lion rampant of the first on the sinister side, supporting a tree eradicated proper on the dexter--WINSTONE, co. Brecknock.

Gules, an oak-tree eradicated proper; crossing the stem and near the root a greyhound courant argent--BOLGER, Arklow, Ireland.

Argent, an oak-tree erased proper; over all a fesse wavy azure--NEAL.

On a mount a withered tree; in sinister a representation of a cherub's head with wind issuing therefrom towards the tree; on a chief an eagle displayed crowned with a celestial crown--PIOZZI.

Argent, a tree in bend couped at the top and slipped at the bottom sable--TANKE.

Argent, an arm proper, habited gules, issuing out from the side of the escutcheon and holding the lower part of a broken tree eradicated vert, the top leaning to the dexter angle--ARMSTRONG, Scotland.

Coupé d'or et de gueules, à l'arbre sec au naturel brochant sur le tout--BESCOT, Ile de France.

D'argent, à un murier(mulberry) de sinople fûté de sable; et un chef d'or chargé d'une tête de Maure de sable tortillée d'argent--MOREL, Burgundy.

But besides the trees themselves, parts of trees are frequently borne. We find the trunk(fr. tronc d'arbre), stock, stem, stump(fr. souche), or body, the terms appearing to be used indiscriminately by heralds, but meaning the same thing; these are generally blazoned as couped, and if not it is implied; they are also frequently eradicated, and it should be stated when they have branches(as in the arms of BOROUGH above) or slips, as in the arms of STOCKDEN below.

We find also the term limb used, and this is generally represented raguly(similar to which, perhaps, is the fr. noueux). It should be drawn so as to give the appearance of wood, and not to be mistaken for a fesse or bend raguly; and its positions should be denoted; if not it should be drawn in pale.

We next find branches(fr. branches), boughs(fr. rameaux), twigs, sprigs, slips, and the term scrogs: to these terms certain differences are assigned, but the rules laid down are not very rigorously followed. The branch, if unfructed, should consist of at least three slips, but if with fruit then four leaves are sufficient; the sprig should have at least five leaves, the slip should have but three. The branches represented borne in the beaks of doves are no doubt olive branches. Many of the terms noted on the previous page as applied to the tree are also found applied to the branches, &c. As to staved branches(if the word is not a misreading of starved=withered), it may mean that they are lopped to represent staves.


Gules, the trunk of a tree eradicated and couped[otherwise snagged] in pale, sprouting two slips argent--STOCKDEN, Leicester.

Vert, three trunks of trees raguly and erased argent--STOCKTON, Ipswich, co. Suffolk.

Argent, three trunks of trees, couped under and above sable--BLACKSTOCK, Scotland.

Argent, the trunk of an oak-tree sprouting afresh--HERE.

De gueules, deux troncs écotés d'or passés en sautoir soutenant une tour donjonnée de deux tourelles d'argent--LA SALLE DE PUYGERNAND, Auvergne.

Argent, three stocks[or stumps] of trees couped and eradicated sable--RETOWRE.

Argent, three stocks of trees couped and eradicated sable, sprouting anew--GEALE, Ireland.

Per fesse, argent and azure, a stock[or trunk] of a tree couped and eradicated in bend or--AHLEN.

Argent, the stem of a tree couped and eradicated in bend proper--HOLDSWORTH, Warwick.

Gules, the stem of a tree couped at both ends in bend or--BRANDT.

Argent, a fesse embattled gules, in base a stump of a tree proper--RICHARDS.

Argent, three stumps of trees couped and eradicated vert--CORP.

Gules, a chevron between three stumps of trees or--SKEWIS, co. Cornwall.

D'or, a trois souches de sable--WATELET DE LA VINELLE, Flanders.

Argent, on a mount in base vert, the body of a tree sable, branched and leaved proper, between two lions rampant combatant gules--BOYS.

Gules, the limb of a tree with two leaves in bend argent--BESSE.

Argent, a limb of a tree raguled and trunked, with a leaf stalked and pendent on each side vert--BOODE.

Sable, an eagle displayed argent, armed or, standing on the limb of a tree raguled and trunked of the second--BARLOW.

Ermine, on a chevron sable, three withered branches argent--FRESE.

D'argent, à la branche de frêne de sinople posée en bande--BAUTHER.

De gueules, au saule[=willow] terrassé et étêté d'or, ayant six branches sans feuilles, trois a dextre trois a senestre; au chef cousu de France--Ville de MONTAUBAN.

Argent, a fesse vairy or and azure between three doves proper, bearing in their beaks a branch vert--BUCKLE, Warwick.

Argent, three staved branches slipped sable, two and one--BLACKSTOKE.

Per fesse, argent and gules, a bird standing upon the top of a tree vert, with a bell hanging from a sinister bough, and over all in base a fish on its back[otherwise blazoned, a salmon in fesse], with a ring in the mouth--City of GLASGOW.

Gules, three trefoils, the stalks embowed at the end, and fixed to a twig, slipped, lying fesswise argent--BROMMEN.

Argent, three sprigs conjoined in base vert; on a chief gules a crescent between two mullets of the field--CHAWDER, Scotland.

Argent, a slip of three leaves vert--BROBROUGH.

Or, a chevron azure between two scrogs in chief, and a man's heart in base proper--SCROGIE, Scotland.

Argent, three scrogs blasted sable--BLASTOCK of that Ilk. [Cf. BLACKSTOCK above.]

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