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Tree Identification

Tree Identification. Ashley Peebles Delaware Forest Service. Taxonomic Classification. The basic processes of classification are grouping and ranking

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Tree Identification

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  1. Tree Identification Ashley Peebles Delaware Forest Service

  2. Taxonomic Classification The basic processes of classification are grouping and ranking Grouping involves the sorting of objects into groups that have some features in common – Ranking is the organization of the groups into a nested hierarchy of small groups within progressively more inclusive groups. Each group that is recognized in the classification hierarchy is called a taxon The lower the rank of a group, the more similar are the organisms grouped in it KINGDOM PHYLUM CLASS ORDER FAMILY GENUS SPECIES

  3. KINGDOM PLANTAE Bryophyta NON-VASCULAR PLANTS mosses VASCULAR PLANTS SEEDED PLANTS Pteriodophytes SEEDLESS PLANTS ferns Cycadophyta, Ginkgophyta, Gnetophyta, Coniferophyta GYMNOSPERMS plants that do not flower Magnoliophyta ANGIOSPERMS plants that flower Magnoliopsida DICOTS Liliopsida MONOCOTS grasses

  4. A species is group of closely related, structurally and functionally similar organisms which can breed among themselves Suffix name emphasized KINGDOM Metaphyta Magnoliophyta PHYLUM CLASS Magnoliopsida Sapindales ORDER Aceraceae FAMILY Acer No standardized suffix GENUS Acer rubrum No standardized suffix SPECIES

  5. Tips for learning families • Each plant family has its own pattern of variation • No one species is truly representative of that pattern unless it is the only member of its family • Usually a family has several genera, each comprising one of more species. They are united as members of one family because they share a set of characteristics and are thought to share some common ancestry. • A feature that is uniform in one family may be highly variable in another. These “diagnostic features” are used to distinguish one from family from another. • Usually no one feature by itself is diagnostic. Each family is characterized by a combination of features. !!! It is your task as a student develop a concept for each of the families you are assigned to learn. This concept should be broad enough that you will be able to recognize family members on sight, even if they are species or genera that you have not seen before.

  6. Disadvantages of common names • Common name given one language is not universally helfpful • Wide ranging plants may have several common names • Sometimes two or more kinds of plants have the same common name • Some rare plants do not have common names

  7. Bionomial nomenclatureAcer rubrum • 2 part scientific naming of species • The first word is a noun, the name of the genus to which the plant is assigned • The second word is usually either an adjective or a possessive noun • Designated in Latin • First adopted by Carl Linnaeus in 1753

  8. Generic Names • A generic name (name of a genus) is treated a Latin noun. • It should be capitalized and either underlines or typed in italics • Generic names comes from various sources but are all referred to as the Latin name Acer………………………ancient Latin for maple Conium…………………..Latinized form of an ancient Greek name Artemisia…………………Greek mythology- Artemis, the goddess of the hunt Dimorphotheca………….Greek, meaning two forms of fruit Trifolium…………………..Latin, meaning three leaves Kalmia…………………….Named for Peter Kalm, a student of Linnaeus and botanical explorer in eastern North America

  9. Species NameQuercus alba • A species name is a two-word name that consists of a generic name and a specific epithet. The specific epithet by itself is NOT a species name. • The specific epithet is usually written in lower case and underlined or italicized. • May be descriptive of the plant, may refer to its geological range or it may be descriptive of its habitat. albiflora………….Latin compound meaning white-flowered chrysantha………Greek compound meaning yellow-flowered serrata……………Latin for saw-toothed arvensis…………..Latin meaning for field americana………..from America pensylvancia………from Pennsylvania

  10. The Dichotomous KEY to Knowledge • Keys are written to identify many groups in the natural world i.e. trees, rocks, fish, fossils, wildflowers, ferns • Keys consist of a series of choices that lead the user to the correct name of an organism • Compares different expressions of the same character (flower red or flower white) • Process of elimination • Tree keys concentrate on leaves for identification

  11. LEAF ANATOMY petiole midrib margin leaf blade sinus lobe veins

  12. TYPES OF LEAVES Needles in bundles Ex: pines, spruces, hemlocks, larches Flattened, scale-like leaves Ex: junipers and cedars True leaves- petiole, blade and midrib Ex: maples, oaks, cherries



  15. LEAF ARRANGEMENT • Alternate leaves • One leaf and bud at every node • Opposite leaves • Two leaves and two bud at each node The only three tree species in Delaware with an opposite leaf arrangement: MAPLE, ASH, DOGWOOD




  19. LEAF MORPHOLOGYVenation parallel arcuate longitudinal pinnate palmate cross-ventulate


  21. COMMON FRUITS • Reproductive structures are unique from species to species and are great for identifying tree • However, may only be available during certain times of the year


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