1. Education

Basic Tree Identification Techniques and Sources

Links to sources and sites that help with identifying trees in the North America.
  1. Conifers (61)
  2. Hardwoods (117)

Identify America's Most Common Trees
A guide for specific tree identification. ID the 100 most common trees in North America.

Tree Identification Using a Tree Leaf Key
Find a tree in the forest, collect a leaf or needle and answer the following questions. At the end of this interview you should be able to identify a tree's name at least to the genus level. I am confident you can also select the species with a little research. One caveat here. The tree you are trying to identify should be a North American...

The Tree Finder
Pick a leaf and answer questions to identify the 50 most common trees in North America.

About's FAQ on Tree Identification
An informative list of frequently asked questions about tree identification.

Identify the Hardwoods
The About guide to the most common North American hardwoods.

Identify the Conifers
Identify and name the most common North American conifers.

About Guide to Tree ID
The About guide to identifying trees using Internet sources.

About Tree Identification Terms
A glossary of terms that help you identify trees...

Match the Leaf with the Tree Quiz
I have developed this tree leaf identification quiz based on 30 of the most common native North American hardwoods.

Common Tree Leaf Illustrations, Imprints and Silhouettes
A good visual representation of a leaf can go a long way toward helping you identifying a tree. Here are three visual aids designed to help you name a tree using three different sets of information - leaf illustrations, leaf imprints and leaf silhouettes.

About's Beginning Tree Identification eCourse
A free beginner eCourse for recognizing and keying major tree species using the Internet.

Making a Tree Leaf Collection
The thrill of correctly identifying trees can be enhanced by properly gathering leaves to make a collection and then mounting them in an exhibit.

Build and Use a Tree Leaf Press
Build and use a tree leaf and plant press for less than $10.

Illustrations of Common Trees - Charles Sprague Sargent Common Tree Leaf Plates
Common Trees in the United States - The Tree Illustrations of Charles Sprague Sargent

Using Botanical Markers and Tree Characteristics for Tree Identification
How to visually recognize and name common dormant tree species mainly in Eastern North America by using tree characteristics and botanical markers

Using a Tree Twig for Tree Identification
How to visually recognize and name common dormant tree species mainly in Eastern North America by using tree twigs and a tree twig key.

Trees With Leaves - A Deciduous Tree Leaf Key
When you are trying to identify a tree, looking at the leaves or needles can be a big help. If tree foliage is a leaf, then you are probably dealing with a hardwood or decidious tree that can be dozens of species that make up a hardwood forest. To figure out which of these trees youre looking at, take a look at the trees leaf, and match...

Trees With Needles - Tree Leaf Key
You most probably have a conifer or evergreen that is in the pine, fir, cypress, larch or spruce family. Let's continue...

The Most Common Trees and Shrubs in Southern Appalachians
A photo collection of 60 slate tile imprints of Common Trees and Shrubs in the southern Appalachians of Alabama

A Beginning Guide to Tree Winter Tree Identification
How to properly recognize and name common dormant tree species mainly in Eastern North America

Identify Dormant Trees in Winter
Identifying a dormant tree is not nearly as complicated as it might seem at first glance. Winter tree identification will demand some dedication to apply the necessary practice to improve the skill of identifying trees without leaves. But if you follow my instructions and use your powers of observation you will find a pleasurable and beneficial...

Dormant Tree Identification Gallery
Dormant Tree Identification Gallery - Photos of Dormant Winter Tree Markers

Using Alternate Tree Leaf and Twig Arrangement for Winter Tree Identification
How to visually recognize and name common dormant tree species mainly in Eastern North America by identifying alternate tree leaf and twig arrangement

Using Opposite Tree Leaf and Twig Arrangement for Winter Tree Identification
How to visually recognize and name common dormant tree species mainly in Eastern North America by identifying opposite tree leaf and twig arrangement

Trees With Pinnately Compound Leaves - Tree Leaf Key
You have now identified a tree with a pinnately compound leaf. Now lets figure out which of these leaves you’re looking at match up to the bipinnate leaf or a pinnate leaf identified below.

If you need to start over return to the

Trees With Compound Leaves - Tree Leaf Key
You have now identified a tree with a compound leaf. Now lets figure out which of these leaves you’re looking at match up to the palmate leaf or a pinnate leaf identified below.

If you need to start over return to the

Hickory, Ash, Walnut and Pecan - Tree Leaf Key
You most probably have a broadleaf or deciduous tree that is either an ash, hickory, walnut or pecan. Let's continue...

If you need to start over return to the Tree Key Start Page.

Black Willow, Elm, Birch, Black Cherry, and Beech - Tree Leaf Key
You most probably have a broadleaf or deciduous tree that is either an elm, willow, beech, cherry or birch. Let's continue...

If you need to start over return to the Tree Key Start Page.

Magnolia, Persimmon, Dogwood, Blackgum, Water and Live Oak - …
You most probably have a broadleaf or deciduous tree that is either a magnolia, persimmon, dogwood, blackgum, water or live Oak. Let's continue...

If you need to start over return to the Tree Key Start Page.

Tree Leaf Margins - Toothed and Entire - Tree Leaf Key
You have now identified a tree with a single blade without lobes. Now lets figure out which of these leaves you’re looking at match up to the toothed (serrate) or entire (smooth) leaf m…

Hardwood Trees - Lobed and Unlobed Leaves - Tree Leaf Key
When youre trying to identify a tree, looking at the leaves or needles can be a big help. If tree foliage is a leaf, then youre probably dealing with a hardwood or decidious tree. To figure out which of these trees youre looking at, take a look at the trees leaf, and match them up to the types of leaves identified below.

If you need to start over return to the …

Maple, Sycamore, Yellow-poplar, Sweetgum - Tree Leaf Key
You most probably have a broadleaf or deciduous tree that is either a maple, sweetgum, sycamore or yellow-poplar . Let's continue...

Lobed Hardwood Leaves - Tree Leaf Key
You most probably have a broadleaf or deciduous tree that is a member of a group of trees called hardwoods. Let's continue...

Balanced Lobed Hardwood Leaves - Tree Leaf Key
You most probably have a broadleaf or deciduous tree that is a member of a group of trees called hardwoods. Let's continue...

White Oak, Red Oak and American Holly - Tree Leaf Key
You most probably have a broadleaf or deciduous tree that is either a white oak, red oak, or American holly . Let's continue...

Cedars and Junipers - Tree Leaf Key
You most probably have a conifer or evergreen that is in the cedar or juniper family. The most common North American trees in this family are...

Pines or Larches - Tree Leaf Key
You most probably have a conifer or evergreen that is either in the pine or larch family. Let's continue...

Spruce, Fir, or Hemlock - Tree Leaf Key
You most probably have a conifer or evergreen that is either a spruce, fir, or hemlock. Let's continue...

Douglas Fir, Baldcypress or Hemlock - Tree Leaf Key
You most probably have a conifer or evergreen that is either a Douglas fir, baldcypress or hemlock. Let's continue...

Live Oak, Common Tree in North America
Live oak is a symbolic tree of the Deep South. Q. virginiana has a squat and leaning form with a large diameter tapering trunk. The leaves are semi-evergreen, are waxy and resist to salt spray which allow the tree to live on the southern coast and on barrier islands. The acorns are the primary food for coastal wildlife.

Sabal Palmetto on Drayton Hall Property, South Carolina
The cabbage palm is the favorite palm for landscapers. It is a large, tall palm with a single unbranching trunk that grows to about 50 feet. Sabal palm is state tree and on the flag of South Carolina. It is on Florida's Great Seal.

New York City Trees - A Field Guide for the Metropolitan Area
An excellent tree identification field guide for tree lovers in the New York City metropolitan area.

Review: Woody Plants in North America - a Multimedia Tutorial for Woody Plant ID
Review of tree identification software Woody Plants in North America - a Multimedia Tutorial for Woody Plants Found Throughout North America

About Best Tree ID Fieldguides for North America
Here is a review of the best fieldguides for tree identification that cover North American species.

Review: Tree Finder - A Manual for Tree Identification
Tree Finder is the best economy-priced, pocket-sized tree identification manual available for trees east of Rocky Mountains. Ideal for people on budgets and those who need a carry along manual.

Review: The Sibley Guide To Trees
A review of The Sibley Guide To Trees, a new tree field guide.

Review: WinterTree Finder - Deciduous Tree Identification
Winter Tree Finder is the best economy-priced, pocket-sized dormant tree identification manual available for deciduous trees east of Rocky Mountains.

About Ginkgo - The Fair Maiden-hair Tree
This botanical dino has some really exciting things going for it...

About Chestnut - An American Comeback
Can the American Chestnut make a comeback? Find out here...

American Chestnut Sprout
I guess all people with an affinity for the forest have a place in their heart for the once common American chestnut. There are few living foresters who remember seeing a mature tree.

Dendro Home Page at Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech has a wealth of tree identification information to help students learning their trees.

Gymnosperm Database
Specifically find the family Pinaceae for much valuable information.

Silvics of North America
This is the excellent U.S. Forest Service work on the silviculture of  200 individual tree species.  This is one of the best sites on managing trees by species on the Web.

Virginia Tech - A Leaf Key
This key should be used during the summer when leaves are available for identification...

Virginia Tech - A Twig Key
This key should be used when leaves are not available or as an additional identifier...

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.