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The increase of diameter of trees are the work of the vascular cambium, a group of cambium tissues placed between the phloem on the outer side and the xylem on the inner side. This is terms as secondary growth.
The primary growth is done by the meristematic tissue at the apical buds, called apical meristem
This vascular meristematic tissues will keep on dividing. The tissues closer to the xylem will differentiate into new xylem tissues while the tissues closer to the phloem will develop into new phloem tissue.
The older xylem tissues will accumulates and will pile up to build up the pith tissue. The cell walls will be thickening with deposit of tannins, gums resins etc. This deposits will make the cells harden.
As more of this xylem tissues build up, it increases the size of the stem.
The vascular bundles contain cambium so secondary thickening can occur. Cambium is a cellular plant tissue from which phloem, xylem, or cork grows by division, resulting in secondary thickening. Secondary thickening is the increase in girth resulting from the formation of new woody tissue by the cambium.