What Are Some Ways to Identify Trees in Oklahoma?


Quick Answer

Some ways to identify trees in Oklahoma are to examine the leaves, flowers and habitat of the trees and cross-reference this information with a tree identification guidebook or an online database. Both the Arbor Day Foundation and Oklahoma Forestry Services websites contain online tree catalogs with pictures and descriptions of various plants.

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Full Answer

Start by deciding if the tree is coniferous or deciduous, and then determine the type of foliage is has needles, scale-like leaves or leaves. Next, see if the leaves are simple or compound, meaning one stalk per leaf or a stalk containing leaflets. Simple leaves can be either lobed, containing protrusions, or unlobed, while compound leaves are either palmates or pinnates. Palmate leaves are leaflets that grow from the end of one stalk, and pinnate leaves are leaflets that grow at several locations along one stalk. Also, look at the leaf margins, the veins in the leaves, how the leaves are arranged. Another method involves looking at the flowers, but this can only be done in the spring when trees blossom. The location of the tree, in open ranges or mountains, also narrows down tree possibilities.

Some trees found in Oklahoma are bald cypress, black walnut, flowering dogwood, eastern red cedar and red bud. A bald cypress has simple, linear, entire leaves, meaning that the leaves are long and thin and the margin or outside is smooth, not toothed or serrated. The flowers are small and brown, and it produces a small green or brown fruit.

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