A leaf identification chart aids in the identification of trees by visual examination of the characteristics of their leaves. The typical leaf identification chart is divided into sections for various types of leaves, including simple and compound leaves, needles and scale-like leaves.
Once determination is made regarding the general type of leaf, the examiner is able to narrow the choices significantly. For example, if the tree has needles, chances are good that it belongs to the conifer or evergreen family. If it has scale-like leaves, the tree is likely a cedar or juniper. If the leaves are simple or compound, the tree from which they grow is probably a hardwood or deciduous. The chart helps the examiner narrow down choices through questions and pictures until he is able to make an identification.