What Does Branching Mean?
In botany, a branch is a woody part of a tree or plant that connects to its trunk. A more scientific term for a branch is a rambus. There are two types of branches; larger branches are known as boughs and smaller branches are called twigs. Twigs can stem off boughs, while boughs refers to the entire branch from trunk to tip.
Branching refers to the growth pattern of said branches, or, plant morphology. Branches can grow horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, but the majority of trees have upwardly diagonal branches.
Virtually every plant displays some sort of branching. More common in smaller plants, branching was first used by Alexander Von Humboldt in 1808 as a method of classification.
The botanist identified no less than 19 different types of branching, namely pseudomonopodial, anistomous, isotomous, and dichotomous branching. Modern botanists also differentiate between lateral, axillary, sympodial, monopodial, or racemose branching. These terms all relate to the size, vigor, growth pattern, and amount of branches/branching a plant has.