Complete Guide to Trees in Chinese (Names & Vocabulary)

trees in Mandarin Chinese

Want to learn all the different kinds of trees in Mandarin Chinese? Then you’ve come to the right place.

Trees are an essential part of Chinese culture and have been featured in literature throughout China’s history. For example, pine trees are much admired and venerated in China as the symbol of integrity, perseverance, and longevity. They stand in the cold on top of a mountain, with essential and unyielding character.

Knowing how to say the name of trees is an important part of learning Chinese. We will cover those, as well as some tree-related words and phrases in the Chinese language. At the end of this post, we’ll give you some example sentences so you can put the vocabulary to use.

Let’s get started.

Tree in Chinese

The basic word for tree in Chinese is 树 (shù), which is easy to remember as it sounds similar to the English word “shoe” pronounced with a fourth tone. (Read more on Mandarin tones).

If you are only talking about one tree in Chinese, 树 (shù) is the word to use. However, sometimes when you are talking about a group of trees, you may also want to refer to them as 树木 (shùmù), a collective noun for trees in general. For example, if you are talking about the trees in a forest.

Measure Word for Trees

Chinese nouns don’t have plural forms. So to say “trees” in Chinese, you still say 树 (shù). However, when you quantify nouns, the numbers must be combined with a measure word that corresponds with the object being counted.

The measure word for tree in Chinese is (棵 kē). Here’s how you count trees in Chinese:

  • a/one tree
    一棵树
    yì kē shù
  • two trees
    两棵树
    liǎng kē shù
  • a hundred trees
    一百棵树
    yì bǎi kē shù

If you’re not sure why we say 两棵树 (liǎng kē shù) instead of 二棵树 (èr kē shù) for “two trees”, we have this entire article dedicated to explaining the confusing number “two” in Chinese. And if you don’t know how to count in Chinese yet, you might want to start with our Chinese number tutorial.

Common Tree Names in Chinese

Ready to learn the names of trees in Chinese? The following table presents the Chinese names of major types of trees in the world alongside their Pinyin pronunciations and English translations to help you learn. (Bamboo isn’t technically a tree, but we thought you might be interested in knowing its Chinese name as well.)

EnglishChinesePinyin Pronunciation
bamboo竹子zhúzi
birch tree桦树huà shù
cedar tree雪松xuěsōng
cherry tree樱花树yīnghuā shù
chestnut tree栗子树lìzi shù
cypress tree柏树bǎi shù
elm tree榆树yú shù
fig tree无花果树wúhuāguǒ shù
ginkgo tree银杏树yín xìng shù
maple tree枫树fēng shù
oak tree橡树xiàng shù
palm tree棕榈树zōnglǘ shù
pine tree松树sōng shù
poplar tree杨树yáng shù
spruce tree云杉yúnshān
walnut tree核桃树hétáo shù
willow tree柳树liǔ shù

Fruit Trees in Chinese

We are not done with Chinese trees yet! Here we discuss the names of common fruit trees in Chinese.

EnglishChinesePinyin Pronunciation
apple tree苹果树píngguǒ shù
banana tree香蕉树xiāngjiāo shù
coconut tree椰子树yēzi shù
hawthorn tree山楂树shānzhā shù
lemon tree柠檬树níngméng shù
mango tree芒果树mángguǒ shù
mulberry tree桑树sāng shù
olive tree橄榄树gǎnlǎn shù
orange tree橘子树júzi shù
peach tree桃树táo shù
pear tree梨树lí shù
plum tree李子树lǐzi shù
fruit tree果树guǒ shù

Related Reading: Fruits in Mandarin

Parts of a Tree in Chinese

Trees are key elements in nature, and each part of a tree plays an important role. Let’s learn the parts of the trees in Mandarin Chinese.

EnglishChinesePinyin Pronunciation
leaves树叶shù yè
crown树冠shù guān
branch树枝shù zhī
trunk树干shù gàn
bark树皮shù pí
roots树根shù gēn

Prefer visual learning? Simply move your mouse on the picture below and you’ll see the words in Chinese that compose the tree.

parts of a tree in Chinese
leaves

树叶
shù yè

 

1 of 6
crown

树冠
shù guān

 

2 of 6
branch

树枝
shù zhī

3 of 6
trunk

树干
shù gàn

 

4 of 6
roots

树根
shù gēn

5 of 6
bark

树皮
shù pí

6 of 6

Chinese Tree Words and Phrases

Now let’s learn some of the most commonly used Chinese words and phrases regarding the trees.

EnglishChinesePinyin Pronunciation
climb trees爬树pá shù
in/on the tree树上shù shàng
under the tree树下shù xià
tree hollow树洞shù dòng
the shade of a tree树荫shù yīn
plant trees (informal)种树zhòng shù
plant trees (formal)植树zhí shù
Arbor Day植树节zhí shù jié
cut down trees砍树kǎn shù
wood
trees, grass and flowers花草树木huā cǎo shù mù
forest森林sēnlín
Christmas tree圣诞树shèngdàn shù
treehouse树屋shù wū

Example Sentences with Trees in Chinese

Now is the time to use the Chinese tree vocabulary in context. Practice the following sentences and you’ll develop your knowledge of Chinese grammar and Chinese sentence structure.

  • 这颗松树已经三百五十岁了。
    Zhè kē sōng shù yǐjīng sān bǎi wǔ shí suì le.
    This pine tree is three hundred and fifty years old.
  • 我家门前有一棵柳树。
    Wǒ jiā mén qián yǒu yī kē liǔ shù.
    There is a willow tree in front of my house.
  • 这颗树真是太高了!
    Zhè kē shù zhēn shì tài gāo le!
    This tree is so tall!
  • 小时候我经常爬树。
    Xiǎo shíhou wǒ jīngcháng pá shù.
    I used to climb trees when I was a kid.
  • 树上有两只鸟,你看到了吗?
    Shù shàng yǒu liǎng zhī niǎo, nǐ kàn dào le ma?
    There are two birds on the tree, do you see them?
  • 这个院子种了很多桃树和梨树。
    Zhè gè yuànzi zhòng le hěn duō táo shù hé lí shù.
    There are many peach and pear trees in this yard.
  • 这棵树的树皮可以用来做中药。
    Zhè kē shù de shù pí kěyǐ yòng lái zuò zhōngyào.
    The bark of this tree can be used for traditional Chinese medicine.
  • 秋天到了,树木开始落叶了。
    Qiūtiān dào le, shùmù kāishǐ luò yè le.
    Autumn is here and the trees are starting to lose their leaves.
  • 停止砍树,拯救森林。
    Tíngzhǐ kǎn shù, zhěngjiù sēnlín.
    Stop cutting down trees and save the forest.
  • 圣诞树下满是礼物。
    Shèngdàn shù xià mǎn shì lǐwù.
    There are many presents under the Christmas tree.

Expressions with Trees in Chinese

money tree in Chinese

We’ve covered a lot of information about trees in Chinese in this post. But if you’re in the mood for more, here are four popular Chinese idiomatic expressions featuring trees to take your Chinese to the next level.

摇钱树 (yáo qián shù)

“the tree that sheds coins when shaken”

Meaning: the goose that laid the golden eggs; cash cow

Example:

  • 别把孩子当成摇钱树
    Bié bǎ háizi dāng chéng yáo qián shù.
    Stop treating kids as cash cows.

铁树开花 (tiě shù kāi huā)

“iron tree blossoms”

Meaning: something rarely seen or hardly possible

Example:

  • 一向小气的老板竟然给我发了红包,真是铁树开花了。
    Yíxiàng xiǎoqì de lǎobǎn jìngrán gěi wǒ fā le hóngbāo, zhēn shì tiě shù kāi huā le.
    My boss, who has always been stingy, actually gave me a red envelope. This is really like an iron tree blooming.

树大招风 (shù dà zhāo fēng)

“big trees attract the wind”

Meaning: famous people attract criticism easily

Example:

  • 我觉得做人还是低调点, 毕竟树大招风
    Wǒ juéde zuò rén háishì dīdiào diǎn, bìjìng shù dà zhāo fēng!
    I think it’s better to keep a low profile, after all, big trees attract wind!

蚍蜉撼树 (pífú hàn shù)

“ants shaking a tree”

Meaning: to overate oneself

Example:

  • 与大象比力气就好比蚍蜉撼树
    Yǔ dàxiàng bǐ lìqì jiù hǎobǐ pífú hàn shù.
    Comparing strength with an elephant is like an ant trying to shake a tree.

Congratulations! You’ve learned all about trees in Chinese! While you’re here, take the opportunity to explore ImproveMandarin.Com, one of the world’s largest sites dedicated to Mandarin Chinese learning.

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By the way, if you’re just starting out to learn Chinese, we strongly recommend you take a structured course online. We’ve taken the time to try out dozens of Chinese courses on the internet, some are fabulous while others are complete junk. Here are the best online Chinese courses for 2022.

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