Tree Identification Guide

Aug 14, 2023 | Tree Appreciation

identify trees guide

Characteristics of Trees and other woody plants that are useful aids in Identification:

These are general guidelines and not hard rules nor is the list exhaustive by any means.

  • Foliage for Evergreens
    • Pines have more than one needle in bundles.
    • Firs and Spruces have single needles. Firs tend to have flat, soft and longer and more aromatic needles. Spruces tend to be short, sharp, and square.
    • There are other needled trees and evergreens that have Awl leaves and modified oppressed scales. Examples- Yews, Junipers, Cedars, Hemlock, False Cypress
  • Bud or Leaf scar arrangement: Opposite (MAD HORSE), Sub-Opposite, Alternate, Whorled
  • Lateral Buds: Solitary, Co-lateral, Stacked or Superposed, stalk. Solitary, Hidden.
  • Bud Shape: Fusi Form, Conical or Ovoid, Rounded or Spherical,
  • Bud Scales: Imbricate or overlapping, Pressed together or Valvate, Naked.
  • Terminal Bud: Present, Absent, Curved, Stacked
  • Shape of Leaf Scars: Crescent, U-shaped, Triangular.
  • Number of Bundle Scars: One to many or in a line
  • Stipules: Stipular line, Thorns
  • Pith-Solid, Chambered, Dia phram, Hollow, Different colors and textures.
  • Other Twig and Bud Characteristics: Smooth, Hairy (pubescent), Scaley, Decurrent lines, Glaucous (waxy), Thick or Thin.
  • Bark: Color, Texture, Pattern, Feel
  • Shape and Growth Habit: Conical, Pyramid, Umbrella Shaped, Multi-stemmed, Central Leader, Dense, Open, Low Branching.
  • Size and Location: Near River, Swamp, Shady, Light, Field, Forest, Cliff Line ,Manicured Estate, Street
  • Persistent Fruit or Flower or Stalks.
  • Smell or Taste of twig, bark or needles.
  • Your Own Notes