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 go to appropriate page.
(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