Tree identification basics
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Tree Identification Basics. Broad Classification Scheme. Annual, Biennial, or Perennial?. Marigold – Tagetes erecta. Marigold is an annual plant. Biennial. A species that completes it’s life cycle in 2 growing seasons. White Oak – Quercus alba. An oak tree is a perennial plant.

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Tree Identification Basics

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Tree Identification Basics


Broad Classification Scheme


Annual, Biennial, or Perennial?


Marigold – Tageteserecta

  • Marigold is an annual plant.


Biennial

  • A species that completes it’s life cycle in 2 growing seasons.


White Oak – Quercus alba

  • An oak tree is a perennial plant.


Herbaceous or Woody?


Daylily - Hemerocallis

  • A daylily is an example of a herbaceous, perennial plant.


Burning Bush – Euonymus alatus

  • Burning Bush is an example of a woody, perennial plant.


Deciduous, coniferous evergreen or broad-leaf evergreen?


Sugar Maple – Acer saccharum

  • Sugar Maple is a deciduous, woody perennial plant.


Norway Spruce – Piceaabies

  • Norway Spruce is a coniferous evergreen, perennial plant.


Holly - Ilex

  • Holly is a broad-leaf evergreen, perennial plant.

Ilex meserveae 'Blue Angel'


Deciduous Conifers? – Yep!

Eastern larch

Bald cypress


Leaf Morphology


Leaf Shapes


Leaf Margins


Leaf Types


Basic Leaf Types

  • Simple

  • Compound

    • Pinnately compound

    • Bipinnately compound

    • Palmately compound

  • Scale-like

  • Needle-like


Simple Leaf


Pinnately Compound Leaf


Bipinnately Compound Leaf


Palmately Compound


Scale-like Leaves


Needle-like Leaves


Leaf Arrangement


Alternate


Opposite


Whorled

Oleander


Time to test your skills…


  • 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?


  • Leaf type?

  • Leaf shape?

  • Leaf margin?

  • Leaf arrangement?


Buds


3 Basic Bud Types

  • Vegetative

  • Flower

  • Mixed


Flowering Dogwood – Cornusflorida

Flower bud

Vegetative bud


Pagoda Dogwood – Cornusalternifolia

Mixed bud


Buds with scales vs. naked buds

Paper birch

Wayfarringtreeviburnum


WARNING!

  • I would advise against doing a Google image search using the key words “naked buds”.


Stem Morphology


Terminal

Bud


Terminal Bud

Bitternut hickory

Common lilac


  • Lateral

  • Buds


Lateral Buds

Basswood


Leaf

Scars


Leaf Scars

Black walnut

Northern catalpa

Green ash


Vascular

Bundle

Scars


Vascular Bundle Scars

Ohio buckeye


Terminal

Bud Scale

Scars


Terminal Bud Scale Scars


Lenticels


Lenticels

White poplar

Paperbark cherry


Lenticels

Tree-of -heaven


Pith


Pith

Black walnut

Butternut


Pith

Kentucky Coffeetree


Time to test your skills…

  • 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

White ash


END


Plant Nomenclature


Common & Botanical Names

  • 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


Linneaus


  • Gymnocladusdioicus

    • 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…


Gleditsiatriacanthosinermis

Gleditsiatriacanthosvar.inermis

inermisis a variety name. Varieties come true-to-type from seed.


Acer saccharumLegacy®

Legacy® is a registered trademark (PP 4,979). Legacy® is registered with the Office of Trademarks and Patents in Washington, DC.

Acer saccharumOregon TrailTM

Oregon TrailTM is a trademarked plant. The TM protects the commercial application of that name to said plant.


End


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