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BRANCH. This is a metaphorical expression, which designates, in the genealogy of a numerous family, a portion of that family which has sprang from the same root or stock; these latter expressions, like the first, are also metaphorical.
     2. The whole of a genealogy is often called the genealogical tree; and sometimes it is made to take the form of a tree, which is in the first place divided into as many branches as there are children, afterwards into as many branches as there are grand-children, then of great grandchildren, &c. If, for example, it be desired to have a genealogical tree of Peter's family, Peter will be made the trunk of the tree; if he has had two children, John and James, their names will be written on the first two branches; which will themselves shoot out as many smaller branches as John and James have children; from these other's proceed, till the whole family is represented on the tree; thus the origin, the application, and the use of the word branch in genealogy will be at once perceived.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
rudis the dry weight and the percentage of calcium carbonate encrustation were negatively correlated with the number of main branches (r = -0.75, r = -0.89, resp.) and the number of branchlets (r = -0.90, r = -0.95, resp.).
Axes erect, covered with short, spine-like branchlets. Main axes of 6-9 pericentral globose cells of 200-300 [micro]m, heavily corticated; cortical cells rectangular, 25-50 [micro]m wide, strongly pigmented.
A loss of trophic factors may account for the preferential loss of distal branchlets during dendritic ageing (Quackenbush et al., 1990).
It is also used as a medicinal plant; the branchlets of this tree are used as toothbrushes, the root decoctions are taken orally to stop diarrhoea, the branch decoctions are administered orally for stomach upset, the leaves are used in treating coughs and stomach ache, the root decoction also forms part of a medicine for hookworms, and the leaf infusion is used in preparing a cough mixture.
Foliage area, number of leaves and number of branchlets (i.e., small branches) were determined for each plant species.
ARIZONA CYPRESS (Cupressus arizonica) Native to central Arizona, this upright to pyramidal tree has scalelike branchlets that vary from green to blue-gray to silver, depending on variety.
Perennial herb, large, glabrous; rhizome solid, hard, woody, 2.5-3.5 cm in diameter, blackish-brown, almost straight-slightly curved; stem erect, 2-3 m in height, 0.5-1.5 cm in diameter, leafy, prominently grooved, bears dense, small, leafy branches and branchlets. Leaves simple, rather membranous, acuminate, glabrous and bright-green above, dull-white and pubescent below, serrate, 3-9 cm in length and 0.5-1.5 cm in breadth, sub sessile-sessile.
Stems flat in cross section; branchlets flattened, 4.
New branches will start at the end of the cut and number of branchlets will be produced.