Identifying Trees

Identifying Trees

Identifying trees is a fun, educational hobby, and it’s a great way to spend time with the kids outside in the fresh air.

Identifying trees is a fun and educational hobby you can enjoy in the great outdoors. Hike with the kids in the mountains and parks around your area. The kids will love it and it won’t cost you one red cent. You can enjoy this hobby anytime of the year. In spring time you can witness the newly opening buds. In summer study the fully opened leaves and flowers. In autumn the fruits mature and leaves change color. In winter many trees are bare and you can observe the bark and branches. There are over 750 different trees in the united States but identifying them is not as difficult as you might think.

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Look at trees and become familiar with the similarities. Note the size, shape, and type of tree. Gather twigs, leaves, flowers, and fruit to help in identification. The most prevalent trees in the US are broadleaves and conifers. A tree guide book will be very helpful.

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Notice how the leaves are arranged on the branches. Conifers usually are evergreen.(green leaves stay on year round.) Their leaves will be sharp and needlelike or scaly.

Conifer flowers do not have petals and are either male (releasing powdery pollen) or female (colorful and ornate). Most conifers have scaly cones for fruits or seed with a berrylike coating. Pine cones are the fruits of pine trees.

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Broadleaves can be evergreen or deciduous (leaves fall in autumn). The leaves can vary widely in shape but are usually flat and veined. You will find rounded leaves, elliptic shapes, egg shaped leaves, heart shaped leaves, and lanceolate leaves. Broadleaf flowers are usually bisexual (having male and female parts in each flower) and have petals. The broadleaf flowers will often be small and high in the tree. Broadleaves have a variety of fruits including, nuts, berries, pods, and the familiar fruits we eat.

Image via Wikipedia

Trees develop bark patterns as they grow, so look at only mature trees to study the bark. Bark may be rough or smooth with different patterns of lines. Twigs and branches are good to study in the winter when the tree is without foliage. Leaves and flowers leave scars on the branches and twigs that will help you identify the tree.

So get out your Tree Guide and take a hike in the woods with the kids for a day of fun. Pack a lunch and have a picnic under that big shady white oak, or in the little grove of willows by the creek. I guarantee it will be a day to remember.

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47 Comments
ken bultman, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

Enjoyed. Forestry was one of my projects in 4-H back when Hector was a pup.

jhenz, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

sounds like fun! but it’s just sad to know that with this climate changes going on and tragic damages done to our trees (i.e. burning, illegal logging, etc.), there are a few left for our discoveries and the enjoyment and education of all.

deep blue, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

Nice writing Ruby. Trees really are confusing at times but with your method it seems easy to name out.

Christine Ramsay, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

A really interesting piece. I shall have to look at trees more closely in future.

Christine

chitragopi, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

I do like watching trees. Nice article

Papa Sparks, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

Nice write up.

Ramalingam, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

A nice and play way method of learning about trees.Thanks for sharing.

ceegirl, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

well written about trees

CHAN LEE PENG, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

Nature is beauty. This is really a good piece. Have my liked it.

Collette Edwards, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

Rudy this is a great Idea for families to do things together as a whole family and as you said it’s free, educational and FUN keep up the good work :)

Lex92, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

good to know :)

Johanny Lisbeth, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

this was great and well explained. I enjoyed reading it.

Holly J. Harrington, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

Excellent.

Hugo La Rosa, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

Excellent advise for most of us. Thank you for the idea. Regards, Hugo.

Lady Sunshine, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

Enjoyable piece, Ruby. Exploring nature is a great hobby. Trees seem so wise and imposing. If they had a voice, what wisdom would they impart?

Phill Senters, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

I enjoyed this article Ruby. I have always enjoyed time wandering in the woods. I never learned all those big long names for all the trees, but I like ‘em anyway. :)

Lostash, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

Without trees, we are doomed. Good fun to learn and identify them.

cebuanaeyez, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

Very educational piece Ruby. Unfortunately, all the trees look the same to me (lol).

Katien, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

Nice piece. I find trees awe-inspiring, and teaching children about them could go a long way towards encouraging them to appreciate how important they are for the planet.

ahmad joko setyawan, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

Absolutely wonderful article Ruby and it is a great way to sepnd a day with kids and very educational! Excellent work!!

Joe Dorish, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

Great idea for hikes with the kids!

Uma Shankari, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

Important for all parents. Great advice, Ruby.

PR Mace, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

What a nice article. I love trees.

CA Johnson, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

Great article, Ruby! That sounds like such a fun thing to do with kids. Thumbs up!

Anne McNew, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

there is really power in nature. it is just so beautiful…

giftarist, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

Great article! I really enjoyed reading this!

Mark Gordon Brown, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

I really like big trees like we had back easy, where we live now there are tall trees, but not “big” ones with large trunks, identification here is fairly easy. Poplar, Poplar, Poplar, Pine, Poplar, Poplar, Poplar

kuldeep, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

THERE IS REALLY POWER IN NATUTER

Somsri, posted this comment on Aug 18th, 2009

looks good,like it.

RS Wing, posted this comment on Aug 19th, 2009

A beauty Ruby. Your articles have grown into natural trees of informative guides that have again shown us the beauty of the planet. Your No. 1 for a reason. Great Piece!

Toxicguy, posted this comment on Aug 19th, 2009

Preaty nice article, i like trees, woods is my other home. =D

K Kristie, posted this comment on Aug 19th, 2009

Very educational. Thanks for the tips.

miguel nr, posted this comment on Aug 19th, 2009

very nice

Momma Tells, posted this comment on Aug 19th, 2009

What a great article, Ruby. It is fun and educational – a great combination!

Louie Jerome, posted this comment on Aug 19th, 2009

Excellent article. I really enjoyed it.

lindalulu, posted this comment on Aug 19th, 2009

Great article! I love trees! Thanks Ruby…

Adam Henry Sears, posted this comment on Aug 19th, 2009

Hi Ruby.

I find your article quite interesting. Being a tree-lover myself, I can actually identify a range of varieties,… so I was disappointed in your article a little, because you only show readers how to identify trees according to their leaf prevalence (coniferous to deciduous), and that is easy to do. Deciduous trees shed their leaves each year, while coniferous trees bear cones and 90-odd percent of them are evergreen.

Since you entitled your article ‘Identifying trees’, I was kind of expecting more of a discourse on specific varieties. Did you forget? Or, are you tree-zing us? Thanks for sharing and have a good day.

Lilly0000, posted this comment on Aug 19th, 2009

I like your idea of how to identify them. I also think it’s fun for kids especially because you take a walk out in the parks or scenic areas.

Sam Wadham, posted this comment on Aug 19th, 2009

cool article – just good basic facts and not overwhelming with information

overwings, posted this comment on Aug 19th, 2009

It’s a good thing being able to identify trees. I always trying to teach children. It is something they always like.

Daisy Peasblossom, posted this comment on Aug 19th, 2009

One of the more dreaded fall school projects was the leaf book. Looking back now, we had a lot of fun collecting and identifying the leaves and labeling them.

Ron Fields, posted this comment on Aug 20th, 2009

Awesome article for us treelovers. Thanks, Ruby.

unown971, posted this comment on Aug 20th, 2009

wtf, i never knew ppl do this for fun!

Ruby Hawk, posted this comment on Aug 22nd, 2009

Thank you everyone for your comments. I appreciate every one. I do love the woods. We are out somewhere in the woods just about everyday. We went to a woods this morning that we hadn’t visited in a few years and found our paths grown up in brush and brairs. We’ll have to take a sword next time to clear the path. It was like a jungle today.

monica55, posted this comment on Aug 24th, 2009

Thanks Ruby for showing us some the wonders of nature; found in these beasutiful trees. An excellent article.
Monica.

Jacques Berkeley, posted this comment on Aug 26th, 2009

Nice.

Netty net, posted this comment on Aug 30th, 2009

Nice I like how spot the different kind of trees,

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