Complete Guide to Trees in Chinese (Names & Vocabulary)
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
yì kē shù
- two trees
liǎng kē shù
- a hundred trees
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.)
|birch tree||桦树||huà shù|
|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|
|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.
|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.
Prefer visual learning? Simply move your mouse on the picture below and you’ll see the words in Chinese that compose the tree.
Chinese Tree Words and Phrases
Now let’s learn some of the most commonly used Chinese words and phrases regarding the trees.
|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|
|trees, grass and flowers||花草树木||huā cǎo shù mù|
|Christmas tree||圣诞树||shèngdàn shù|
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.
Zhè kē sōng shù yǐjīng sān bǎi wǔ shí suì le.
This pine tree is three hundred and fifty years old.
Wǒ jiā mén qián yǒu yī kē liǔ shù.
There is a willow tree in front of my house.
Zhè kē shù zhēn shì tài gāo le!
This tree is so tall!
Xiǎo shíhou wǒ jīngcháng pá shù.
I used to climb trees when I was a kid.
Shù shàng yǒu liǎng zhī niǎo, nǐ kàn dào le ma?
There are two birds on the tree, do you see them?
Zhè gè yuànzi zhòng le hěn duō táo shù hé lí shù.
There are many peach and pear trees in this yard.
Zhè kē shù de shù pí kěyǐ yòng lái zuò zhōngyào.
The bark of this tree can be used for traditional Chinese medicine.
Qiūtiān dào le, shùmù kāishǐ luò yè le.
Autumn is here and the trees are starting to lose their leaves.
Tíngzhǐ kǎn shù, zhěngjiù sēnlín.
Stop cutting down trees and save the forest.
Shèngdàn shù xià mǎn shì lǐwù.
There are many presents under the Christmas tree.
Expressions with Trees 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
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
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
- 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
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.
Here are some related topics you might enjoy:
- Animal Names in Chinese
- Basic Chinese Words and Phrases to Survive in China
- Simple Chinese Grammar Guide for Beginners
- How to Learn Chinese Online – A Quick Guide
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.