Welcome to Great British Trees!
This new website aims to make it easier for non-experts to identify some of the common trees in Britain using pictures of leaves and to learn a little about their genetics. I hope that you find it helpful.
Only a few of the trees are native British trees, with many of the trees now commonly found in the UK having been introduced from other countries. More information and photographs will be added soon!
To make identification as easy as possible, trees have been grouped according to the appearance of their leaves, as below:
Quick guide to tree identification:
Consider the appearance of the leaves according to questions (1) and (2), then choose the appropriate page from the drop-down menus at the top.
(1) Simple or compound leaves?
Compound leaves – more than one leaf (or leaflet) per stalk (or petiole)
Simple leaves – just one leaf (or leaflet) per stalk
(2) Leaf shape?
Oval – or elliptical e.g. beech
Triangular/heart shaped – may be small e.g. in birch and larger in common lime
Rounded – e.g. as in the common alder
Elongated – long leaf e.g. as in the willow but not needle shaped (see the separate category)
Lobed – e.g. as in oak, hawthorn and white poplar
Palmate – multiple parts radiating from a central part i.e. maple shaped (when simple) or like a palm tree (in compound form)
Needles – as in spruce, pine, fir, yew and larch
Scale-like – as in Leyland cyprus