Tree Identification Basics

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
Marigold is an annual
plant.
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A species that completes it’s life cycle in 2
growing seasons.

An oak tree is a perennial
plant.

A daylily is an example of a
herbaceous, perennial plant.

Burning Bush is an example
of a woody, perennial
plant.

Sugar Maple is a
deciduous, woody
perennial plant.

Norway Spruce is a
coniferous evergreen,
perennial plant.

Ilex meserveae 'Blue Angel'
Holly is a broad-leaf
evergreen, perennial plant.
Eastern larch
Bald cypress

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Simple
Compound
 Pinnately compound
 Bipinnately compound
 Palmately compound

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Scale-like
Needle-like
Oleander




Leaf type?
Leaf shape?
Leaf margin?
Leaf arrangement?

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
Leaf type?
Leaf shape?
Leaf margin?
Leaf arrangement?




Leaf type?
Leaf shape?
Leaf margin?
Leaf arrangement?




Leaf type?
Leaf shape?
Leaf margin?
Leaf arrangement?




Leaf type?
Leaf shape?
Leaf margin?
Leaf arrangement?

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Vegetative
Flower
Mixed
Flower bud
Vegetative bud
Mixed bud
Paper birch
Wayfarringtree viburnum

I would advise against doing a Google image
search using the key words “naked buds”.
Terminal
Bud
Bitternut hickory
Common lilac
Lateral
Buds
Basswood
Leaf
Scars
Black walnut
Northern catalpa
Green ash
Vascular
Bundle
Scars
Ohio buckeye
Terminal
Bud Scale
Scars
Lenticels
White poplar
Paperbark cherry
Tree-of -heaven
Pith
Butternut
Black walnut
Kentucky Coffeetree
Take a look at the twig image and answer the
following:
 What’s the leaf arrangement?
 Does your twig have a terminal bud? Lateral
buds?
 Can you find any leaf scars? Vascular bundle
scars?
 Can you find any lenticels?
 Can you find the most recent set of terminal bud
scale scars?
 Do you even care anymore?
 Do you have a headache?

White ash
END

Plants have 2 different names:
 Common Name
 Botanical or Scientific Name


Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum

Acer saccharum
 Acer = genus
 saccharum = specific epithet
 genus + specific epithet = the “binomial” that identifies a species

Gymnocladus dioicus
 What’s the name of the genus?
 What’s the name of the specific epithet?
 What’s the name of the species?

Acer saccharum ‘Autumn Splendor’
 ‘Autumn Splendor’ is a cultivar name
 cultivars, generally speaking, do not come true-to-
type from seed.
A species may have several cultivars or none at
all:
 Acer saccharum ‘Arrowhead’
 Acer saccharum ‘Cary’
 Acer saccharum ‘Millane’s Dwarf’
 Acer saccharum ‘Seneca Chief’, etc…

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Gleditsia triacanthos inermis
Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis
inermis is a variety name. Varieties come trueto-type from seed.
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Acer saccharum Legacy®
Legacy® is a registered trademark (PP 4,979).
Legacy® is registered with the Office of
Trademarks and Patents in Washington, DC.


Acer saccharum Oregon TrailTM
Oregon TrailTM is a trademarked plant. The TM
protects the commercial application of that
name to said plant.
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