Is there any difference between 树 (shù) and 木 (mù), in the meaning of "tree", or they are interchangeable?

  • 4
    树 means 'tree', while 木 can mean both 'tree' and 'wood(en)'.
    – imrek
    Aug 8, 2015 at 21:15

2 Answers 2


树 more often means tree in modern language, while 木 usually means wood, as in 木板 (plank) or 木材 (timber).

An olive tree is 橄榄树, while a birch is 桦木. Most trees are 树, though.

  • 2
    dict。cn:桦树有光滑的皮和细长的枝。 The birch has smooth bark and slender branches. 乔木 tree (落叶乔木deciduous tree) 灌木 bush ; shrub,however evergreen tree:常青树
    – user6065
    Aug 9, 2015 at 5:14
  • What about a "generic" tree, like in: "Look at that tree over there!"? Which chinese word should be used? Aug 9, 2015 at 10:01
  • 1
    树:那棵树很漂亮。Plural: 树木, trees. Forest: 树林. As for biology, 木 is genus or family (as in 桦木), while 树 usually is species (桦树).
    – user4452
    Aug 9, 2015 at 10:34

树 = tree, 木 = wood or wooden. Pretty much the same usage as in English

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