Q:

How do you identify a tree?

A:

Quick Answer

The best way to identify a tree by its leaves, which are either coniferous or deciduous. Conifers keep their leaves all year, while deciduous trees shed their leaves, usually during winter. Look at details of the leaf, such as its shape, placement and how many leaves are on a branch.

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Full Answer

  1. Look at the leaf

    Coniferous trees have needle-like leaves, while deciduous trees have flat, wide leaves. Finding out which of the two you are dealing with helps identify the tree.

  2. Look for placement and patterns

    Look at where the leaf is located on the ends of a branch. Check for patterns such as pairs, triplets or leaves that surround the branch. These identifiers narrow your search pool of possible trees.

  3. Find a specific shape

    Pay attention to aspects such as the width and length of the leaves. Look for things like smooth, jagged or wavy edges. Finally, a concise guide-to-trees book with detailed descriptions and pictures of trees in your region can help isolate individual species.

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