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 way to enhance your skills as a naturalist - even in the dead of winter. Learning to identify a tree without leaves can immediately make your growing season trees easier to name.
Botanical markers and tree characteristics should be used when identifying a dormant tree. Tree leaves are great but keen observation skills are critical for tree identification in winter. Get to know a tree and its parts, or "markers", and how these parts look in every season - especially in winter.
Using a tree twig key is an excellent way to identify a tree when no leaves are available. But using a tree twig key means learning a twig's botanical parts. A twig key can help you identify a tree to the specific species by asking two question where you can affirm one and eliminate the other. This is called a dichotomous key. Here is instruction on using a twig key and links to several of the best online twig keys.
I have compiled this gallery to augment your study of trees in winter to better identify tree species. Use this gallery and follow my instructions in Using Botanical Markers. Using your powers of observation, you will find a pleasurable and beneficial way to enhance your skills as a naturalist - even in the dead of winter.