In the fields of horticulture and botany, the term deciduous means "falling off at maturity" and "tending to fall off", in reference to trees and shrubs that seasonally shed leaves, usually in the autumn; to the shedding of petals, after flowering; and to the shedding of ripe fruit. Generally, the term deciduous means "the dropping of a part that is no longer needed" and the "falling away [of a part] after its purpose is finished". In plants, it is the result of natural processes. "Deciduous" has a similar meaning when referring to animal parts, such as deciduous antlers in deer, deciduous teeth (baby teeth) in some mammals (including humans); or decidua, the uterine lining that sheds off after birth. Wood from deciduous trees is used in a variety of ways in several industries including lumber for furniture, construction and flooring (oak), ornamental, bowling pins and baseball bats (maple) and furniture, cabinets, plywood and paneling (birch).
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