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Tree Identification

Tree Identification. American elm Ulmaceae Ulmus americana.

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Tree Identification

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  1. Tree Identification

  2. American elm Ulmaceae Ulmus americana • Leaf: Alternate, 3 to 6 inches long, 1 to 3 inches wide; margin coarsely and sharply doubly serrate, base of leaf conspicuously inequilateral; upper surface glabrous or slightly scabrous, paler and downy beneath. Flower: Appears March to May before leaf buds open, in fascicles of 3 to 5. • Fruit: Rounded samaras, 3/8 to 1/2 inch across, deeply notched at apex, hairless except for margin; appears April to May. • Twig: Slender, glabrous, slightly zigzag, reddish-brown; buds over 1/4 inch long, reddish-brown with darker edged scales, often placed a little to one side of the twig. • Bark: Dark, ashy-gray, flat-topped ridges separated by diamond-shaped fissures; outer bark when sectioned shows distinct, alternating, buff colored and reddish-brown patches. When young it is often quite spongy. • Form: In the open, the trunk is usually divided into several large, ascending and arching limbs, ending in a maze of graceful drooping branchlets.

  3. American elm Ulmaceae Ulmus americana

  4. Baldcypress Taxodiaceae Taxodium distichum • Leaf: Linear and small, 1/4 to 3/4 inch long, green to yellow-green, generally appearing two-ranked. When growing on deciduous branchlets the leaf-deciduous branchlet structure resembles a feathery pinnately (or bi-pinnately) compound leaf. Flower: Males in drooping long panicles. Females are subglobose, peltate scales, and tend to occur near the end of branches. • Fruit: Cones are composed of peltate scales forming a woody, brown sphere with rough surfaces, 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter. Cones disintegrate into irregular-shaped seeds. • Twig: May be deciduous or not. Non-deciduous twigs are slender, alternate, brown, rough, with round buds near the end of the twig. Deciduous twigs are two-ranked, resembling pinnately compound leaves. • Bark: Fibrous, red-brown but may be gray where exposed to the weather. Old, thick bark may appear somewhat scaly. • Form: A large tree with a pyramid-shaped crown, cylindrical bole, fluted or buttressed base and often with knees.

  5. BaldcypressTaxodiaceae Taxodium distichum

  6. American basswood Tiliaceae Tilia americana • Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, ovate to cordate, 5 to 6 inches long, with serrate margins. The base is unequally cordate. Flower: Pale yellow, borne on pendulous cymes, with a narrow leaf-like bract. Maturing June to July. • Fruit: A round, unribbed nutlet that is covered with gray-brown hair. The bract is persistent, 4 inches long when mature. Ripening September to October. • Twig: Moderately stout, zigzag, red or green in color. The terminal bud is false. Buds are edible and very mucilaginous. • Bark: Gray or brown, ridged with long shallow furrows. The bark appears very fibrous. Young stems are smooth and gray-green. • Form: A medium-sized tree. Older trees very often sprout from the base when cut. Stumps sprout prolifically, often resulting in clumps of several trees.

  7. American basswood Tiliaceae Tilia americana

  8. American beech Fagaceae Fagus grandifolia • Leaf: Alternate, simple, elliptical to oblong-ovate, 2 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches long, pinnately-veined, with each vein ending in a tooth. Leaves feel dry and papery. • Flower: Male flowers borne on globose heads, female flowers borne on spikes. Flowers appear just after leaves in the spring. • Fruit: Nuts are irregularly triangular, shiny brown and edible, found in pairs within a woody husk covered with spines, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long. Maturing September to November. • Twig: Very slender, zigzag, light brown in color. Buds are long (3/4 inch), light brown, and slender, covered with overlapping scales; best described as "cigar-shaped". • Bark: The bark is smooth, thin, and gray in color, sometimes mottled. Often carved with initials. • Form: A medium to large tree with a rounded crown. Often found in thickets produced by root suckering. Old trees may be surrounded by a ring of young beech.

  9. American beech Fagaceae Fagus grandifolia

  10. Black cherry Rosaceae Prunus serotina • Leaf: Alternate, 2 to 5 inches long, oval to oblong, lance-shaped. Margins are finely serrated, dark green and lustrous above, paler below; usually with a dense yellowish-brown, sometimes white pubescence along mid-rib. Flower: White racemes appear when leaves are half to newly formed. Flowers May to July. • Fruit: Flesh is dark purple, almost black when ripe, with a bitter-sweet taste. Matures June to October. • Twig: Slender, reddish-brown, sometimes covered in gray epidermis, pronounced bitter almond odor and taste. Buds are about 1/5 inch long covered in several, glossy, reddish-brown to greenish scales. Leaf scars are small and semicircular with 3 bundle scars. • Bark: Smooth with narrow, horizontal lenticels when young. It becomes very dark (nearly black) breaking up into small, rough, irregular, upturned plates (burnt corn flakes), when older. • Form: Medium-sized tree which on good sites develops a long, straight, clear bole.

  11. Black cherry Rosaceae Prunus serotina

  12. Black locust Fabaceae Robinia pseudoacacia • Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound with 7 to 19 leaflets. Leaves are 8 to 14 inches long. Leaflets are oval, one inch long, with entire margins. Leaves resemble sprigs of grapes. • Flower: Showy and aromatic, white, 5 lobed, borne in racemes, 5 inches long. Present May through June. • Fruit: Brown, flattened, shaped like pea pods, 2 to 4 inches long; containing 4 to 8 kidney-shaped, smooth, red-brown seeds. Maturing September to October. • Twig: Zigzag, somewhat stout and angular, red-brown in color. Spines are paired, 2 at each leaf. Buds are submerged beneath the leaf scar. • Bark: Gray or dark brown, ridged and furrowed-- resembles a woven rope. • Form: May develop a straight stem with a very small crown. Often forms thickets by root suckering.

  13. Black locust Fabaceae Robinia pseudoacacia

  14. Black walnut Juglandaceae Juglans nigra • Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound with 10 to 24 leaflets, 12 to 24 inches long. Leaflets are ovate-lanceolate, finely serrate, and are 3 to 3 1/2 inches long. The rachis is stout and somewhat pubescent. Poorly formed or missing terminal leaflet. Flower: Male flowers are single-stemmed catkins, 2 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches long. Female flowers on short spikes near twig end, yellow-green in color. Present April to June. • Fruit: Round with a thick, green indehiscent husk. The husk contains an irregularly furrowed nut that contains sweet, oily meat (edible). Maturing September to October. • Twig: Stout, light brown, with a buff-colored chambered pith. Buds are short, blunt with a few pubescent scales. Leaf scars are 3-lobed, resembling a "monkey face". • Bark: Light brown on surface, dark brown when cut, ridged and furrowed with a rough diamond pattern. • Form: A medium-sized tree that developes a straight, clear bole with a narrow crown under competition. Twigs and branches quite stout.

  15. Black walnut Juglandaceae Juglans nigra

  16. Blackgum Nyssaceae Nyssa sylvatica • Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, obovate in shape with an entire margin, 3 to 5 inches long. Rarely toothed. Flower: Not showy, green-white in color, appearing with the leaves, hanging in clusters. • Fruit: A dark, purplish-blue drupe, 1/2 inch long, with a fleshy coating surrounding a ribbed pit. • Twig: Slender, red-brown to gray in color, with a diaphragmed pith. One to 2 inch curved spur shoots are often present. Buds are multicolored, including purple and green. • Bark: Gray, quite often blocky--resembling alligator hide on very old stems. Otherwise scaly or ridged and ashy-gray (nearly nondescript). • Form: A medium-sized tree, with slightly curled spur shoots. Branches stand at right angles to the trunk.

  17. Blackgum Nyssaceae Nyssa sylvatica

  18. Boxelder Aceraceae Acer negundo • Leaf: Opposite, pinnately compound, 3 to 5 leaflets (sometimes 7), 2 to 4 inches long, margin coarsely serrate or somewhat lobed, shape variable, green above and paler below. • Flower: Dioecious; yellow-green, in drooping racemes; appearing in April and May. • Fruit: Paired V-shaped samara, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, appear September to October in drooping clusters, persist throughout winter. • Twig: Green to purplish green, moderately stout, leaf scars narrow, meeting in raised points, often covered with a glaucous bloom, buds white and hairy, lateral buds appressed. • Bark: Thin, gray to light brown, with shallow interlacing ridges. Young bark is generally warty. • Form: Medium-sized tree, usually has poor form, multiple trunks, sprouts often occur on bole.

  19. Boxelder Aceraceae Acer negundo

  20. Butternut Juglandaceae Juglans cinerea • Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound with 11 to 17 leaflets, 15 to 25 inches long. The leaflets are oblong-lanceolate in shape with serrate margins. The rachis is stout and pubescent with a well developed terminal leaflet. Flower: Male flowers are single-stemmed catkins, 2 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches long. Female flowers are on a spike near the end of the twig, green-yellow in color. Present April to June. • Fruit: Oblong, with a yellow-green sticky indehiscent husk. The husk contains an irregularly-ribbed nut containing sweet, oily meat. Maturing September to October. • Twig: Stout, may be somewhat pubescent, red-brown to gray, with a chambered pith that is very dark brown in color. Buds are large and covered with a few light colored pubescent scales. Leaf scars are 3-lobed, resembling a "monkey face". A tuft of pubescence is present above the leaf scar resembling an "eyebrow". • Bark: Light, ashy gray, with flattened ridges, developing diamond shaped patterns. • Form: A small to medium-sized tree with a forked or crooked trunk and wide-spreading branches.

  21. Butternut Juglandaceae Juglans cinerea

  22. Cottonwood Salicaceae Populus deltoides • Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, 3 to 6 inches long, triangular (deltoid) in shape with a crenate/serrate margin. The petiole is flattened and glands are present at the top of the petiole. • Flower: Dioecious, male and female as pendulous catkins, appearing before the leaves. • Fruit: Cottony seeds, 1/4 inch long borne in a dehiscent capsule. Maturing over summer. • Twig: Stout, somewhat angled and yellowish. Buds are 3/4 inch long, covered with several brown, resinous scales. Has a bitter aspirin taste. • Bark: Smooth, gray to yellow-green when young. Later turning gray with thick ridges and deep furrows. • Form: A large tree with a clear bole and an open spreading crown resulting in a somewhat vase-shaped form.

  23. Cottonwood Salicaceae Populus deltoides

  24. Eastern redcedar CupressaceaeJuniperus virginiana • Leaf: Evergreen, with two types of leaves, often on the same tree. Scale leaves 1/16 inch long, dark green, with 4 sides. Awl leaves are more common on young trees, 1/8 to 3/8 inch long, dark blue-green and sharp-pointed. • Flower: Dioecious, but occasionally monoecious; males are yellow-brown, occurring in large groups; females are light blue-green. • Fruit: Berry-like cones, light green in spring, turning dark blue and glaucous at maturity, about 1/4 inch in diameter. Appearing March to May. Maturing September to November. • Twig: Green for several years, covered in scales, later turning brown. • Bark: Red-brown in color, exfoliating in long, fibrous strips, often ashy gray where exposed. • Form: A small tree with a dense pyramidal or columnar crown.

  25. Eastern redcedar CupressaceaeJuniperus virginiana

  26. Flowering dogwood Cornaceae Cornus florida • Leaf: Opposite, simple, arcuately veined, 3 to 6 inches long, oval in shape with an entire margin. Flower: Very small, but surrounded by 4 large white (occasionally pink) bracts, 2 inches in diameter. Appearing March to April in the south, June in the north. • Fruit: A shiny, oval red drupe, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, in clusters of 3 to 4. Maturing in September to October. • Twig: Slender, green or purple, later turning gray, often with a glaucous bloom. The terminal flower buds are clove-shaped, vegetative buds resemble a cat claw. • Bark: Gray when young, turning very scaly to blocky. • Form: A small tree with a short trunk that branches low, producing a flat-topped crown. Branches are opposite, and assume a "candelabra" appearance.

  27. Flowering dogwood Cornaceae Cornus florida

  28. Green ash Oleaceae Fraxinus pennsylvanica • Leaf: Opposite, pinnately compound with 7 to 9 serrate leaflets that are lanceolate to elliptical in shape. The leaf is 6 to 9 inches long and is glabrous to silky-pubescent below. • Flower: Dioecious, both sexes lacking petals, occuring as panicles. Flowers appear after the leaves unfold. • Fruit: A one-winged, dry, flattened samara with a slender, thin, seed cavity, maturing September to October and dispersing over winter. • Twig: Stout to medium texture, gray to green-brown and either glabrous or pubescent, depending on variety. Leaf scars are semicircular, lacking the notched top. • Bark: Ashy gray to brown in color, with interlacing corky ridges forming obvious diamonds. Older trees may be somewhat scaly. • Form: A medium-sized tree with a poorly formed bole and an irregular crown.

  29. Green ash Oleaceae Fraxinus pennsylvanica

  30. Hackberry Ulmaceae Celtis occidentalis • Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, 2 to 5 inches long. Leaves are ovate, with acuminate tips and a cordate, inequilateral base, three distinct veins meet at base. Leaf margins are serrate and may be somewhat pubescent below. • Flower: Very small (1/8 inch) and green, produced on stalks near the twig. Each flower with a 4 or 5 lobed calyx. Apparent in April to May. • Fruit: Fleshy, globose drupe, 1/4 to 3/8 inch in diameter, turning orange-red to dark purple when ripe. The flesh is thin and quite dry but edible and sweet, enclosing a large pit. Maturing in September and October. • Twig: Slender zigzag, light red-brown in color. The terminal bud is lacking, but a pseudoterminal bud is present. Lateral buds are small, tapering, and appressed, pith chambered at the nodes. • Bark: Gray or light brown in color, smooth with corky "warts" or ridges. Much later becoming scaly. • Form: A small to medium-sized tree.

  31. Hackberry Ulmaceae Celtis occidentalis

  32. Live oak Fagaceae Quercus virginiana • Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, leathery, 2 to 5 inches long, oblong or elliptical in shape with an entire or spiny and revolute margin. The upper surface is lustrous, the lower is pale and pubescent. Generally, not bristle-tipped. • Flower: Staminate flowers borne on catkins. Pistillate flowers borne on spikes. Appearing March through May. • Fruit: Acorns are in clusters of 3 to 5, maturing in one season. The nut is dark in color, 3/4 inch long and covered 1/3 by the cap. The cap is bowl-shaped and warty, termed "turbinate" by Harlow et al. Maturing in September of the first year. • Twig: Slender, gray and pubescent, with small, blunt, multiple terminal buds. • Bark: Rapidly developing red-brown furrows with small surface scales. Later, becoming black and very blocky. • Form: A medium-sized tree that can grow to massive proportions. Open-grown trees develop a huge rounded crown. The largest crowns may be 150 feet across.

  33. Live oak Fagaceae Quercus virginiana

  34. Loblolly pine PinaceaePinus taeda • Leaf: Evergreen, 6 to 9 inches long, with (usually) three yellow-green needles per fascicle. • Flower: Monoecious; males long cylindrical, red to yellow, in clusters at branch tips; females yellow to purple. • Fruit: Cones are ovoid to cylindrical and red-brown in color. The umbo is armed with a short spine. Cones are roughly the size of a potato (3 to 6 inches). Maturing September to October. • Twig: Orange-brown in color, fine to moderately stout. Buds are light reddish-brown. • Bark: Quite variable. When young, appears brown and scaly. Older trees are ridged and furrowed, with somewhat apparent blocks. Very old trees have red-brown scaly plates. • Form: A medium to large tree that self-prunes well and develops a straight trunk and an oval, somewhat dense crown.

  35. Loblolly pine PinaceaePinus taeda

  36. Longleaf pine PinaceaePinus palustris • Leaf: Evergreen, very long and feathery (8 to 18 inches long), with three dark green needles per fascicle. Flower: Monoecious; males yellow-red, long, in clusters; females oval, purple. • Fruit: Very large (largest cone in the Eastern U. S. --6 to 10 inches long), ovoid to conical in shape, sessile. Scales are red-brown in color. The umbo is armed with a curved prickle. Maturing September to October. • Twig: Very stout, brown, with large obvious, asbestos-white buds. • Bark: Quite scaly, orange-brown to gray, will eventually develop plates. • Form: A medium-sized tree with a straight trunk, coarse branches and tufted needles at ends of branches.

  37. Longleaf pine PinaceaePinus palustris

  38. Mockernut hickory Juglandaceae Carya tomentosa • Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, with 7 to 9 serrate, lanceolate to obovate-lanceolate leaflets. The terminal leaflet is larger than the laterals. The leaf is 9 to 14 inches long, but may be longer in the understory. The rachis is stout and very pubescent. Flower: Male flowers are drooping catkins, with 3 hanging from one stalk, 3 to 4 inches long. Female flowers in clusters of 2 to 5 near the tip of the twig. Appearing in April to May. • Fruit: Obovoid to ellipsoidal in shape, 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. The husk is thick (although less thick than C. ovata) and dehiscent; 4-ribbed nut, sweet and edible. The fruit matures from September to October. • Twig: Stout and pubescent, the 3-lobed leaf scars are best described as a "monkey face". The terminal bud is very large, and the scales are deciduous, revealing a silky white bud. • Bark: Gray-brown close, with interlaced round-topped ridges and shallow furrows, not shaggy or exfoliating. • Form: A medium-sized tree with a straight stem and a rounded crown.

  39. Mockernut hickory Juglandaceae Carya tomentosa

  40. Red mulberry Moraceae Morus rubra • Leaf: Alternate, simple, roughly orbicular in shape, 3 to 5 inches long with a serrate margin. Leaves may be 0 to 3-lobed, (sometimes more). Leaves are papery, with white fibers apparent when torn. Flower: Normally dioecious, small, green, male flowers are hanging catkins, 1 to 2 inches long. Female flowers, also catkins, are 1 inch long. • Fruit: Resembling blackberries, cylindrical, 1 to 1 1/4 inches long, fleshy multiples of drupes, each containing a small seed. Maturing June to August. • Twig: Slender, zigzag, green changing to red-brown. Twigs are often pubescent. Buds are covered with brown-margined overlapping scales. Silvery-white filaments when broken. • Bark: Reddish-brown and quite irregular with long ridges. Younger trees are often orangish, especially when wet. • Form: A small tree, with a short trunk that branches low.

  41. Red mulberry Moraceae Morus rubra

  42. Pecan Juglandaceae Carya illinoensis • Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound with 9 to 15 finely serrate and often curved leaflets, 12 to 18 inches long. • Flower: Male flowers in hanging, yellow-green catkins, often in pairs of three (4 to 5 inches long). Females are small and yellowish green, 4-angled. • Fruit: Large, oblong, brown, splotched with black, thin shelled nuts, 1 ½ to 2 inches long, husks are thin, usually occur in clusters on trees. Mature in September and October. • Twig: Moderately stout, light brown, fuzzy particularly, when young; leaf scars large and three lobed; buds are yellowish brown to brown, hairy, terminal buds ¼ to ½ inch long. • Bark: Smooth when young, becoming narrowly fissured into thin broken strips, often scaly. • Form: A large tree (can reach heights well over 100 feet) with spreading crown when in the open.

  43. Pecan Juglandaceae Carya illinoensis

  44. Common persimmon Ebenaceae Diospyros virginiana • Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately-veined, 2 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches long. Oblong to oval, lustrous dark green above, entire margin. Flower: Usually dioecious, white to greenish-white, male flowers in 3's. Female flowers solitary, both about 1/2 inch long. Present March to mid-June. • Fruit: A plum-like berry that is green before ripening, turning orange to black when ripe, 3/4 to 2 inches in diameter when ripe. The fruit is astringent when green, sweet and edible when ripe. Matures September to November with frost. • Twig: Slender, light brown to gray, maybe scabrous or pubescent. Buds are dark red to black with 2 bud scales, triangular in shape. Leaf scar has one vascular bundle trace. • Bark: Very dark, broken up into square scaly thick plates; reminiscent of charcoal briquettes. • Form: A small to medium-sized tree with a round-topped crown. In forest stands the stem may be straight, tall, and slender.

  45. Common persimmon Ebenaceae Diospyros virginiana

  46. Pignut hickory Juglandaceae Carya glabra • Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, with 5 (sometimes 7) leaflets. Leaflets are lanceolate and serrate. The rachis is slender and glabrous. Flower: Male flowers are drooping catkins, with three hanging from one stalk, 2 to 3 inches long. Female flowers are short and found in clusters at the end of the branches. Present April to May. • Fruit: Obovoid to pear-shaped, 1 to 2 inches long, with a thin husk that only partially dehisces upon maturation. The nut is not ribbed and the seed is usually bitter. Ripening in September to October. • Twig: Moderately stout to slender (when compared to the other hickories) and glabrous. Leaf scars are 3-lobed to cordate--best described as a "monkey face". The terminal bud is small and light brown in color. • Bark: The bark on young trees is smooth, soon becoming finely shaggy. The bark on older trees has obvious close interlacing ridges. • Form: A medium-sized tree with a rounded crown and a straight trunk.

  47. Pignut hickory Juglandaceae Carya glabra

  48. Post oak FagaceaeQuercus stellata • Leaf: Alternate, simple, 6 to 10 inches long, oblong in shape, with 5 lobes, thickened texture. The two middle lobes are square, resulting in an overall cruciform appearance. The upper surface has scattered stellate pubescence. The lower surface is pubescent. Flower: Male flowers are green, borne in naked catkins, 2 to 4 inches long. Female flowers are reddish and appear as single spikes. Appearing with the leaves. • Fruit: Acorns are 1/2 to 2/3 inches long and ovoid. The cap is bowl-shaped and warty, covering 1/3 to 1/2 of the nut. Individual scales are more apparent than white oak. Maturing in one year, ripening September to November. • Twig: Gray or tawny-tomentose and dotted with numerous lenticels. The multiple terminal buds are short, blunt, chestnut-brown in color, and pubescent, short, threadlike stipules may be present. • Bark: Very similar to white oak or bur oak, but more reddish-brown in color. • Form: A small to medium-sized tree with a crown that has snarled and twisted branches.

  49. Post oak FagaceaeQuercus stellata

  50. Red maple Aceraceae Acer rubrum • Leaf: Opposite, 3 to 5 palmate lobes with serrate margins, sinuses relatively shallow (but variable), 2 to 4 inches long; light green above, whitened and sometimes glaucous or hairy beneath. • Flower: Appear March to May, usually before leaves; usually bright red but occasionally yellow. • Fruit: Clusters of 1/2 to 3/4 inch long fruit with slighly divergent wings, appear May to June, on long slender stems. Light brown and often reddish. • Twig: Reddish and lustrous with small lenticels, buds usually blunt, green or reddish (fall and winter) with several scales usually present, leaf scars V-shaped, 3 bundle scars, lateral buds slightly stalked, may be collateral buds present. • Bark: On young trees, smooth and light gray, with age becomes darker and breaks up into long scaly plates. • Form: Medium-sized tree. In forest, trunk usually clear for some distance, in the open the trunk is shorter and the crown rounded.

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