While working on a short story I faltered when I tried to depict in a concise and yet expressive manner a fact that main character was at the edge of a birch woodland. I don’t really like a word combination “birch woodland” or “birch forest” and I'd like to express this by means of one word. To give you an idea in Russian you can denote any woodland type consisting mostly of one tree species using one word without explicitly saying XYZ forest (thicket, grove or whatnot). Let’s say there is an aspen copse. Instead of saying this word combination you can just say aspen with a special suffix. This style is more prevalent in literature rather than colloquial language for that matter. I’m trying to understand whether there is something similar in English. I’m aware only of a handful of examples namely pinery (a grove/woodland with pines) and some more esoteric ones such as oakery(oak woodland) and osier-bed (grove with osiers/small willows). I’m not even sure whether last two of my examples do not represent some kind of idiosyncratic vocabulary. My first idea was merely to add “wood” ending to a name of particular tree in order to obtain a desired word such as "birchwood" for a birch forest. However I’m not sure whether this will “work” for all trees because for instance “maplewood” rather alludes to some kind of timber and carpentry material than to a picturesque and vivid description of a grove. I’m looking for a help of native speakers who are well aware of a proper literary style to describe a grove/copse with one tree species using only one word.

UPD. Downvoters please care to explain your reasoning. I do believe my question raises some sort of interesting discussion even though may not have a proper answer.

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    I can think of no single English word (or way of rephrasing the name of a tree) that combines the two things. – Jason Bassford Nov 9 '18 at 22:34
  • @JasonBassford I foresaw this but decided to give it a shot. What is your opinion on "oakery" and "osier-bed"? Are these valid? Unfortunately I can't recall where I saw these words. Perhaps you are aware of some other similar examples like "pinery"? – Oleksandr Karaberov Nov 9 '18 at 22:40
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    Sorry. Short of referring to a dictionary, those don't sound necessarily wrong, but nor can I recall specifically hearing them before. And even if oakery were fine, I doubt you could swap oak for any number of other types of trees (such as maplery). – Jason Bassford Nov 9 '18 at 22:49
  • I'm with @JasonBassford on this. Never heard of a single word for what you're describing, just the complex noun. Even "pinery" and "oakery" sound like a factory of some kind, a la "cannery". – miltonaut Nov 9 '18 at 23:03
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    You can say ‘a stand of trees’ such as ‘a stand of birch’ - a ‘stand’ means a group of the same type of trees. But there is no single word as far as I know. And you cannot say ‘oakery’ etc. So you can say ‘he stopped near a stand of birch’. You do not need to say ‘trees’. – Jelila Nov 9 '18 at 23:17

You can't say this in one word.

While it is difficult to prove a negative, I believe there is no general one-word solution that works for every species of tree. For particular species, you might find a particular single word solution.

To be honest, I'm not sure why you would want to use one word rather than several; your answer doesn't make that clear. Were I you, I'd be happy with an oak thicket, an oak stand, an oak grove, an oak copse, an oak wood, an oak forest etc. as they are no less expressive than any single word equivalent that you might hope exists!

In your comments you mention pinery. A quick dictionary search shows that oakery does not exist and neither does birchery; hence it is not a general solution. Also, pinery is not a particularly common word, and I doubt it could be used for a pine forest, for instance.

-wood as a suffix

As for your suggestion of using -wood as a suffix, that just doesn't work. It's unreliable.

Were you to consult a dictionary, you would see that it is not the case that in every instance a tree name concatenated with wood gives the name of a group of trees; more usually it is just a type of wood, in the lumber sense.

While Merriam-Webster has birchwood as both a material a carpenter might use and a birch wood i.e. many living birch trees still stuck in the ground, the same is not true with oak. In this instance, according to Merriam-Webster, oakwood is only the material and not the collective body of trees; similarly, cherrywood, and applewood are materials only. Ashwood and rowanwood do not appear to even exist as compound words. (Perhaps they are not practical for carpentry or arboreal monoculturing... I have no idea!)

I'm not sure to what extent the -wood suffix is generative and whether there is any rule as to when it creates woods as well as plain old wood. Perhaps some linguist has investigated this, and a knowledgeable answerer will let us know. (However, it is probably just entirely irregular.)


The question was edited in a significant way after I answered, which makes the above answer less relevant.

Coppice can refer to a single-species wood or grove when it is vegetatively propagated. (A coppice could even be a grove or a small circle of trees where each plant is a clone of one mother tree.) As a transitive verb, coppice refers to a traditional forestry/pruning technique which results in the formation of coppices in the nounal sense.

Coppice is clearly a cognate with copse and it can be used with exactly that meaning. However, when this more unusual and awkward spelling is used, it is typically with the more specific, necessarily single-species meaning.

In its limited sense, coppice does not, however, refer to any single species stand or wood of trees; the clonal means of reproduction is what makes it a coppice.

Merriam-Webster gives the following definition:

coppice noun

Definition of coppice (Entry 1 of 2)

1 copse

2 forest originating mainly from shoots or root suckers rather than seed

an oak coppice

coppice verb

coppiced; coppicing

Definition of coppice (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

to cut back so as to regrow in the form of a coppice

intransitive verb

to form a coppice

specifically, of a tree : to sprout freely from the base


You can say ‘a stand of trees’ such as ‘a stand of birch’ - a ‘stand’ means a group of the same type of trees. But there is no single word as far as I know. And you cannot say ‘oakery’ etc. So you can say ‘he stopped near a stand of birch’. You do not need to say ‘trees’.

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