5 Clues to Identify Your Landscape Tree

Trees species have their own soil requirements, care requirements, and lifespans. So knowing what types of trees you have on your property can be the first step to planning the ideal care scenario for them. Here are some clues to help you identify your trees.

1. Flowers

If your tree is currently blooming, the flowers may be a dead giveaway. For instance, if the tree blooms in spring and has tiny bright purplish-pink blossoms clustered tightly around its branches and twigs, it's likely a redbud. Other distinctive flowers include dogwood, magnolia, and lilac flowers.

2. Tree Size and Shape

While tree size can vary based on age as well as variety, it can still be a clue. For instance, a giant, towering tree may be a mature oak, but it's not going to be a crabapple (these only reach around 12–15 feet in height). However, the shape of the tree can be an even bigger part of the clue.

Many trees have a characteristic shape, which they're likely to display unless closely pruned into some other form. For instance, many conifers tend to grow in a cone or triangle shape. By noting how cone-like the shape is, whether the tree's profile is smooth or spiky, and other characteristics, you can narrow down which type of conifer it is.

3. Leaf Characteristics

Some characteristics of leaves include the shape (for instance, heart shape versus oval), thickness, size, color, and how the leaves are arranged on the stems. These can all provide clues to what type of tree you have. In some cases, like with lobed sassafras leaves, leaf shape can be very characteristic of a certain type of tree.

4. Tree Behavior

Some types of tree behavior that can help you identify the type of tree include:

  • Whether the tree sheds all its leaves in fall
  • What time of year the tree blooms
  • What type of fruits or nuts the tree has

Odd distinguishing characteristics, such as noticing if the tree's leaves die in fall yet stay on the tree (a characteristic of trees such as oak, hornbeam, and beech), can help you pinpoint the tree type further.

5. Trunk and Bark

While not always as easy to distinguish as a leaf shape, tree trunks and their bark do sometimes have distinguishing characteristics. For example, simply noting whether your tree has just one trunk or multiple trunks could help narrow it down. And some trees, such as paper birch, have brightly colored or otherwise easily identifiable bark.

These clues can help you get the information you need to identify your tree. For more information on care for different types of trees, visit websites like https://www.hodgsontreeservice.com/ to connect with local tree services.