How to identify different trees

How to Identify Different Types of Trees

Whether you're taking a walk in the park or simply admiring your neighbor's landscape, it's nice to be able to identify different tree species. Who knows? You might want to plant a few of them in your own yard. If you're ready for some fun sleuth work, here's what to look for.

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1: Brzostowska/Shutterstock /2: Peter Turner Photography/Shutterstock /3: Aleoks/Shutterstock

Leaf Identification Type

The starting point for most people when identifying trees species is the leaves. There are three basic leaf types: needles, scales and broadleaf. Most evergreens have needles or scales, while most broadleaf trees are deciduous, meaning they drop their leaves when dormant. However, there are exceptions. Larch has green needles that turn color in fall and drop off the tree. Live oak is an evergreen tree with broad, elliptical leaves.

Try the Arbor Day Foundation’s online tree identification tool.

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How to Identify Trees By Leaf Shape

The shape of a leaf can also give clues when identifying broadleaf tree species. Common leaf identification shapes include ovate (egg shaped), lanceolate (long and narrow), deltoid (triangular), obicular (round) and cordate (heart shaped). There is also the palm-shaped maple leaf and the lobed oak leaf, two of our most recognizable leaf shapes.

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Family Handyman, Getty Images (5)

How to Identify Trees By Bark Color

Ask most people to describe a tree’s bark and they’ll say “gray” or “brown” and leave it at that. While many tree species indeed have gray bark, some have bark that is cinnamon (mulberry), pure white (birch), silver (beech), greenish white (aspen) or copper (paperbark maple) in color.

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How to Identify Trees By Bark Texture

There are many variations in texture between different tree species, as well. Bark can be furrowed (cottonwood), scaly (sycamore), peeling (hickory), smooth (beech), shiny (cherry), papery (birch) or warty (hackberry).

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Luke Miller/Oldsmobile Trees

Bark Variations With Age

Often the color and texture of the bark change as the tree matures. This is most noticeable on the trunk—the oldest part of the tree. Silver maple, for example, will go from smooth and silver to furrowed and gray and black as it grows older, as the photo shows.

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How to Identify Trees By Tree Shape

Some trees have a distinctive shape. Think of the vaselike habit of an American elm tree or the pyramid silhouette of a sweet gum. In some cases, the habit changes as the tree matures—often becoming more rounded or irregular—but shape can help with identifying younger trees that are grown in open space (as opposed to a wooded setting, which encourages taller, narrower growth).

You can train a tree’s shape to your liking. See our tree pruning techniques.

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Tree Size and Location: What tree is this?

If you’re trying to identify trees species in a natural setting, you can study the site. Nature knows what it’s doing, distributing trees where they will thrive. Some species, such as willow, are more likely to grow near water. While others, such as black locust, are more upland tree species. A mature tree’s size can also help you whittle down the possibilities. If it’s 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide, you know it’s more apt to be an oak than a dogwood.

Not sure there’s room for a tree in your yard? Meet some space-saving trees for today’s smaller gardens.

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How to Identify Trees By Flowers

While there’s a whole class known as flowering trees (everything from crabapples to magnolias), other tree species have inconspicuous flowers. Either way, flowers can help with identification. First, consider the color (although this isn’t a fail-safe method, since plant breeders have expanded the color palette in the cultivars they have developed). More helpful is to consider when the flower appears and what it looks like. Flower types include single blooms, clustered blooms or catkins (pictured), which are dense hanging spikes that look like tassels. Many trees bloom in spring, but some flower in summer or even early fall, helping you eliminate certain tree species as you investigate.

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How to Identify Trees By Fruit Type

When you think of fruit, you probably think of larger fleshy fruits with seeds inside (apples, pears). But fruit is just a seed dispersal mechanism, so there are other variations to consider. Think of the papery winged fruits of maple, the nuts of chestnut, the acorns of oak, the catkins of willow, the berries of hawthorn and the cones of alder (pictured). All can help you pinpoint a tree species.

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How to Identify Trees By Seed Comparison

The seeds themselves can help with more specific identification. Say you have an oak tree but you’re not sure what kind. Leaf shape is highly variable on oaks, even on the same specimen. A better indicator may be the acorns. Get your hands on a good guide such as The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees (a mainstay in bookstores for decades). Then compare the acorns to what’s pictured in the guide. You’ll find that acorns can be small (black oak), big (bur oak), oblong (English oak) or barrel shaped (red oak). Some are even striped (pin oak). The cap that partially encases an acorn is also unique in size, shape and texture.

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How to Identify Trees By Leaf Bud Arrangement

Buds can be helpful in identifying tree species in winter, when deciduous trees are without foliage. Those at the end of a twig are called terminal buds, while those growing along the twig are lateral buds. The arrangement of these lateral buds can help establish a tree’s identity. Alternate buds, found on elms, are arranged in alternating pairs on opposite sides of the stem. The opposite buds of maple are directly facing each other on the stem. And spiral buds whorl alternately around the stem, as seen on oaks.

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Luke Miller/Oldsmobile Trees

How to Identify Trees By Leaf Bud Appearance

Some trees have distinctive buds, such as the sharply pointed buds of beech and the small, clustered buds of oak, which are covered by protective scales. Bitternut hickory is hard to miss—just look for the sulfur-yellow buds when the tree is dormant.

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Originally Published: June 10, 2019

Luke Miller

Luke Miller is an award-winning garden editor with 25 years' experience in horticultural communications, including editing a national magazine and creating print and online gardening content for a national retailer. He grew up across the street from a park arboretum and has a lifelong passion for gardening in general and trees in particular. In addition to his journalism degree, he has studied horticulture and is a Master Gardener.

How to Identify Trees: A Simple Guide

All trees have clues and features that can help with identification. You just need to know what to look out for. This quick guide to tree identification will give you a few basic hints and tips.

Learn how to identify trees with our top tips on what to look out for.

Credit: Michael Heffernan / WTML

Basic tree identification tips

The UK has at least fifty species of native trees and shrubs, and many more species of introduced non-native trees.

There are lots of features that give you clues to what species it is.

  • Look at the leaves or needles. Is it a broadleaf (usually deciduous) or is it a conifer (usually with needles or scales)?
  • Different features will be visible through the seasons. In winter, for broadleaf trees, you'll have to use twigs, leaf buds and bark.
  • Take notice of the surrounding area such as hedgerows, fields, parks, woodland or close to water. Some species are more likely to grow near water, in scrubland, parkland or in woodland.
  • Piece the clues together, including the overall shape and size of the tree, bark, leaves or needles, flowers, fruits, leaf buds and twigs. The more features you can see, the more accurate your identification will be.
Identify British trees with our free app

Get an A-Z guide of trees by downloading our free tree ID app for Android and iOS.

Download the app

Overall appearance, size and shape

Size and shape

Some trees have a distinctive look that can be used to identify them, especially from a distance.

Compare a silver birch, with its narrow shape and light and airy crown, to the broadly spreading crown of an oak.

Overall shape is also useful when identifying conifers. The layers of horizontally spreading branches of a mature cedar of Lebanon contrast with the sparsely branched Scot’s pine or densely bushy yew.

Look for signs of management which can affect the shape. Trees like hazel, hornbeam, beech and willow may have been coppiced or pollarded which can create a tree with many stems, rather than a tall, single trunk.

Top tip

The location of a tree  affects its appearance and shape. Trees in woodland often have narrower crowns compared to trees in parks with lots of space around them.


Take a closer look at the appearance, texture, markings and colour of the bark.

  • Does it have a pattern of ridges or depressions, peeling flakes or is it fissured, smooth or shiny?
  • Is it grey, white, red or green?
  • Bark develops over time as a tree ages.

Top tip

Look at the bark all the way up the tree as it can vary between the base and the crown.

Leaves and needles

Leaf type, shape, appearance, texture and colour are all key characteristics when identifying trees. 

They are also often the most obvious feature, particularly in spring and summer. The needles and scales of conifers are also considered types of leaves.


The leaves of broadleaved trees fall into two basic types - simple and compound.

Credit: Philippe Clement /

Simple leaves

Leaves are whole and are not divided right to the central leaf vein, such as apple or birch. The edges of some simple leaves can be indented or lobed, such as sycamore, field maple and hawthorn, so take care not to mistake these for compound leaves. Lime leaves are a simple and heart-shaped leaf with a pointed tip.

Credit: WTML / Ben Lee

Compound leaves - pinnate

Compound leaves fall into one of two categories - pinnate and palmate.

Pinnate are feather-shaped where leaflets are attached in pairs along the central vein such as rowan, ash and elder.

Credit: Christine Whitehead / Alamy Stock Photo

Compound leaves - palmate

These are palm-shaped, like the outstretched fingers of a hand. Horse chestnut has palmately compound leaves. Be careful not to mistake Acer species such as sycamore and field maple as having palmately compound leaves - they are actually simple with a lobed margin.

Top tip

Take notice of the colour, texture and edges of leaves (do they have serrations?).

In autumn, some species have leaves that turn spectacular autumn colours. Guelder rose and field maple often turn a vivid orange or red.


If the foliage on the tree is needles or scales then you are probably looking at a conifer. These include trees in the pine, fir, cypress, larch and spruce families.

Most conifer trees have needles or scales present all year that can be used for identification. One of the few exceptions is European larch which loses its needles in winter.

Conifers can be separated into two broad groups.

Credit: WTML / Margaret Barton


Pines, spruces, firs, cedars and larches have needles. They can be different shapes, sizes and be arranged differently on twigs. Flattened needles could mean a yew or whorls of three needles juniper.

Larch needles are arranged in clusters.

Credit: FLPA / Alamy Stock Photo


Species of the cypress family have scales. These are flattened and shield-shaped  that overlap on the twig.

Top tip

Leaves and needles are often the most useful clues for identifying trees. Look closely at the type, shape, edges and arrangement of them.


Many trees only bloom at a particular time during the year but if you can see flowers, usually in the spring, it can be another helpful to help with tree identification.

Broadleaf trees have flowers that contain the reproductive organs, and most conifers have cones for reproduction. Here are some basic types.

  • Hermaphroditic trees, such as cherries, produce flowers with both male and female parts.
  • Monoecious trees, such as alder, bear separate male and female flowers on the same tree.
  • Dioecious trees, for instance holly and yew, have separate male and female trees.

Top tip

What time of year is the tree flowering? Blackthorn blooms in late winter, before the leaves have come out. But hawthorn flowers much later on in May, once its leaves are out.

Fruits and seeds

At the right time of year fruits and seeds are a great character to help with identification. They vary in shape, appearance and size from hard nuts to soft berries.

Look at the colour and feel the texture of the outer surface of the fruit. Is it smooth, hairy, prickly, rough or papery, soft, hard or dry?

Consider opening fruits up to reveal the seeds inside, which can also be a useful identifying feature. Take note of whether fruits or seeds appear singly, such as crab apples, or in groups like the umbrella-like clusters of elderberries.

Fruits of broadleaved trees

The fruit types of broadleaf trees vary greatly and include samaras, nuts, catkins, berries, stone fruits, apples or pears, capsules and cones.

Fruits of coniferous trees

Conifers have a fruit that is known as a cone which contains the seeds.

Top tip

Out of season you can look around the base of the tree to find old fruits or seeds that may help. But bear in mind they may have come from a neighbouring tree.

Leaf buds and twigs

In winter you’ll find that there aren’t many features to help with identification of deciduous trees, but leaf buds and twigs can reveal some distinctive clues.

Leaf bud arrangement, shape and appearance

Buds are usually on twigs throughout winter. When they are at the end of the twig they are called terminal buds and are often the largest buds. Those growing along the twig are lateral buds and these can have one of three main arrangements.


Look at the texture of the twigs and whether they are smooth or hairy. Spines could indicate you’re looking at hawthorn or blackthorn and if it has corky ribs you may be looking at alder.

Top tip

Use the features of twigs and buds in combination to help you identify the tree. For more tips on identifying winter trees see our blog how to identify trees in winter.

Trees woods and wildlife

A-Z of British trees

Explore our simple A-Z identification guide to the trees of Britain, from natives to naturalised and widely planted non-native species. You'll find images, tree descriptions and information on where you're likely to find them.

See the list

More on British tree  identification

Trees woods and wildlife

A-Z of British trees

Our A-Z guide to British trees from native species to naturalised and widely planted non-natives.


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Trees for Kids - Exploring Types of Trees with Preschool Children

Ask a child of any age to draw a tree and they will most likely draw a long trunk and lush foliage on top. Oddly enough, the tree diagram looks exactly the same. The only difference is that the roots of the tree usually do not fall into the drawings - they are underground.

So, a tree is a special kind of perennial plants, in which three main parts are distinguished: roots, trunk and crown. Each of them plays an important role in the life of the plant.

Structure of a tree

The root nourishes the tree by absorbing the necessary substances and moisture from the soil and transferring them to the trunk. The root is also responsible for the stable position of the tree. It is thanks to the spread of roots in the soil that the tree maintains an upright position. The roots can go to a depth of up to 30 meters and grow in different directions over considerable distances - up to 100 meters. Often, especially on uneven terrain, the roots come to the surface of the earth and their complex weaves can be observed.

The trunk is the support for the whole tree. And in every sense. It not only physically holds the upper part of the tree - leaves and branches - but also serves as a conductor of nutrients from the roots to the crown. The trunk of the tree is strong and dense, it is usually covered with bark, under which the wood is hidden. In almost all trees, the trunk has the shape of an elongated cylinder, wider at the bottom, at the root, and gradually tapering upward.

The upper part of the plant - its branches and leaves - form the crown of the tree. The crown can be of very different shapes: sprawling (branches grow in different directions), spherical, weeping (when the branches are directed downwards), columnar (approximately the same in width over the entire height), pyramidal (tapering towards the top), umbrella (really, resembling an umbrella on long handle) and creeping when the crown is bent to the ground.

In nature, other types of crowns can be observed, but they are referred to as deviations from the norm, deformations, "deformities", although in fact it sometimes looks attractive and interesting.

How do plants differ from each other: trees, shrubs and herbs?

The first thing that comes to mind is size, or rather height. Trees are above everything, behind them are bushes, and below them is grass. This usually happens, but not always. In nature, low-growing trees are found, and grass sometimes grows higher than shrubs. So the main difference is in the structure. In particular, in the presence of the trunk.

The tree has a thick hard trunk, the only one for a plant. It branches out at the top. Damage to the trunk leads to the death of the entire tree.

Shrubs do not have one main trunk (or it is, but very small and near the soil itself) - they have numerous stems - branches: woody, thick, but not too strong; moreover, they can die off and change to young shoots - that is, the death of one or more branches will not lead to the death of the entire plant.

Herbs do not have a stem at all, the whole plant is a thin soft stem that has no branches.

There are some differences in the life cycle: herbs can be annuals, biennials, and perennials; shrubs tend to be perennials, while trees are always perennials.

What are trees like?

There are two types of trees: deciduous and coniferous. It is quite easy to distinguish them - by the appearance of the leaves.

Leaves of deciduous trees are flat plates of various shapes. Most often green. Such trees are also called deciduous, because the leaves are not on them all year round: in autumn they lose their color and fall off. In winter, the tree has no cover, and new leaves grow from the buds only in spring.

In coniferous trees, leaves (yes, they are also called leaves) grow in the form of thin needles, needles. Coniferous trees are called evergreen because their needles do not lose color in autumn, and by winter they do not fly around. At the same time, one should not think that the needles do not change throughout the life of the plant - coniferous trees also change their cover, but this happens gradually, not simultaneously for all leaves (needles) and without reference to a specific season.

Deciduous trees

Let's get acquainted with the main types of deciduous trees that are found in cities, forests and parks of our country.


The most beloved tree in Russia is often called the "tree of life", "Russian beauty", "bride". Birch is easy to recognize by its trunk, covered with almost white bark - birch bark. The birch leaves are not large, the crown is not too dense, it transmits light, so it is rarely dark in a birch forest.

This tree grows throughout Russia - and not only. Due to its unpretentiousness, birch is found throughout the Northern Hemisphere and even beyond the Arctic Circle. Dwarf birch grows in the tundra - less than 1 meter high.

Common birch grows up to 15 meters and even higher - up to 30. The tree lives for about 100 years.

Birch flowers are called "catkins"; they look more like soft, flexible drooping cones than flowers.

Birch is one of the most useful trees growing in our climate. Its leaves contain many healing substances, so they are used both in the form of decoctions and for the preparation of infusions that help with various diseases and as a general tonic. Tasty and healthy birch sap. Bath brooms are made from birch branches and leaves, which contribute to the healing of wounds and abrasions. And even the smell of birch, as it is believed, "heals from the evil eye and bad mood."

Since ancient times, the upper layer of birch bark, birch bark, has been widely used. Since it is resistant to moisture, it was used in construction; and in everyday life they were used to make household utensils. “Birch bark letters” have survived to this day - records made on the bark. They are of great interest primarily to historians studying Ancient Russia.


The ancient Slavs used to say that linden is “mother-tree: it will feed, and shod, and cure”. But linden grows not only in Russia; it can be found in many European countries, even in the north (Norway, Finland). Although most of all linden loves a warm and fairly humid climate.

This tree can be found in gardens and parks, as well as in forests and fields.

It is easy to distinguish it - by reddish twigs and leaves, which have a characteristic rounded shape with small teeth. The crown of the linden is not as openwork as that of the birch, it creates a thick cool shadow. Linden can reach 30 meters in height.

Linden shows itself most brightly during flowering. At the end of June - July, the whole tree is covered with beautiful light yellow inflorescences, exuding a strong honey aroma. In addition to their beautiful appearance, linden flowers have good disinfectant properties.

But a young plant does not bloom immediately. Linden, planted artificially, begins to bloom only after 30 years; in natural conditions - 10 years earlier. In general, linden lives for quite a long time, up to 400 years, but there are cases of “long-lived trees” that are 1000 years old or even more.

Linden seeds are small, like peas, which are collected in several pieces on one stalk equipped with a light “wing”. These wings help the seeds to scatter, and the seeds themselves serve as food for birds.

Slavs have long used linden in a variety of ways: cutlery and dishes were made from wood, bast shoes were woven from the bark, linden blossom was used to treat many diseases.

Linden is one of the most useful honey plants; honey is called "lipets". And the tree itself got its name for sticky buds and leaves.


Giant Oak, Giant Oak. It is no coincidence that in the people and literature this tree is associated with strength and power. Oak and looks appropriate: a large, mighty tree with an immense trunk and a rich crown. The tree reaches 40 meters, but does not grow all its life: at the age of 100-200 years, growth in height stops. A slight increase in width continues throughout the life of the tree, and it lives for a long time, sometimes up to 2 thousand years!

Oak leaves have a beautiful intricate shape with rounded teeth. The bark is strong and thick, dark in color.

Oak is one of the last leaves in the forest - sometimes closer to the beginning of summer. And bloom right away. Its flowers are located on long hanging "earrings".

All children love and know the fruits of oak. These are acorns - cute oblong nuts hanging on hats. They can be eaten.

Acorn coffee is a fairly common drink in the world. Raw acorns are enjoyed by pigs and wild boars.

Oak bark, which contains tannins and natural antiseptics, is widely used in medicine.

Oak wood is one of the most sought after and valuable in the world.

Previously, oak was also used in ink production: from the so-called "galls" or "ink nuts" (balls that form on oak leaves due to the interaction of tannins with substances secreted by special larvae living on the tree), paint was obtained, which included in permanent inks. In the time of Pushkin, they wrote with just such ink.


The first thing that comes to mind when this tree is mentioned is its leaves. They are actually very beautiful - and absolutely original, with five sharp curly "fingers". Maple leaves are especially picturesque in autumn, when they are painted in all shades of yellow and red. And maple seeds look like dragonflies with their transparent light wings.

The tree itself is quite large, it can grow up to 30 meters in height and up to one and a half meters in diameter. In general, maple grows very quickly.

There are more than 100 types of maple in the world. In our country, Norway Maple is the most common. And in Canada, maple is a national favorite, the leaf pattern even adorns the national flag. By the way, the Canadian maple lives much longer than “ours”: up to 500 years, while in our forests it lives only up to 200.

Maple loves lit areas, so there are practically no pure maple forests - the tree grows mainly on the edges. Maple blossoms in May with medium-sized yellow-green flowers.

Maple syrup is very popular in Canada and North America. It is obtained from the sap of the tree. But trying to get it from our maples is not worth it - it is obtained only from a special variety. Although our maples also give juice - it is not so tasty, but it is used in medicine to strengthen the immune system and treat nerves. Maple leaves have antiseptic properties.

Maple is famous for its extremely durable wood, which, among other things, has special acoustic properties, which is why it is used in the manufacture of musical instruments.


This tree is a fast growing tree, so it is widely used for planting greenery in cities.

Everyone knows this slender tall tree with a dense silvery crown. Poplar bark is also grayish, often covered with cracks.

Although poplar is considered to be a rather whimsical tree, it grows almost everywhere - in the middle lane, and in Siberia, and in America, and even in Africa. But poplars do not live too long - the maximum age is about 150 years. Although, like other plants, among poplars there are centenarians who have reached 400 years of age.

Poplar flowers start quite early, in April or May (depending on the region). The whole tree is covered with long gray-green catkins, which are considered very honey-bearing.

But the most interesting thing comes later, when the poplar has faded. In some trees, the so-called females (poplars also have males), the flowers turn into fluffy, cotton-like clusters that scatter in different directions and literally cover everything around with a white carpet. This is poplar fluff.

A beautiful sight, but some people are very affected by fluff - it is believed to provoke allergic reactions. Therefore, now in many cities they are gradually getting rid of "downy" poplars. According to many scientists, absolutely in vain. After all, poplar is the leader among all trees in terms of its ability to absorb harmful substances and release oxygen. This is the main benefit of poplar. Although decoctions from various parts of the plant are also used in medicine: bark, seeds and buds.

Poplar wood is not considered very durable, but is widely used for making matches and paper.


Popular and widespread tree in our country. Most often, when they talk about willow, they mean weeping willow - a tree with long flexible branches inclined to the ground. But in fact, there are a lot of varieties of willow - more than 500 species that grow almost everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. Willow, willow, vine - these are all willow trees.

Willow is unpretentious, but most often grows on well-moistened soil.

Among the varieties of willow, there are plants with very different properties: both tall, more than 30 meters, trees, and shrubs, and even dwarf willows, not exceeding 3 centimeters in height.

Almost all willows have thin, flexible and brittle branches, but their colors can vary from red to dark green. The kidneys are also of different colors and shapes.

Many people know that such a popular plant as willow is a kind of willow. But the cute fluffy gray balls on the branches are not buds, as one might think, but flowers.

In general, willow is an early plant, buds appear on it in winter, so for many peoples it is a symbol of spring and the awakening of nature.

Interestingly, the weeping willow got its name not only because of the hanging branches: these trees often grow near water bodies and receive too much moisture through the roots, which it leaves through the leaves; and then it seems that the tree is literally “crying”.

Willow is widely used in folk medicine: its bark contains many unique substances, such as tannin. Also from the willow get a cure for malaria - quinine.

Willow vines are traditionally used to make wicker furniture and baskets.


The name of this tree in Latin means “trembling man”. And indeed: even with the slightest breeze, the leaves on the tree begin to move, and it seems that the whole plant is trembling. This is due to the fact that the leaves are held on a branch with a long and thin handle, which reacts to any fluctuation of the air.

In fact, aspen is not such a “delicate” tree. On the contrary, it has such long and powerful roots that some aspens are able to survive a fire: even if the trunk and crown are burned, the root system can give new shoots.

Aspen has a long light trunk. In height, the tree can grow up to 35 meters, and quite quickly. On average, a tree lives 100 years.

An interesting property of aspen is that blue appears on the frame. This is due to the entry of tannins contained in wood with the metal of the cutting tool - but it all looks rather ominous, especially against the background of a white trunk. Perhaps that is why aspen does not have a very good “reputation”: in ancient times, people believed that evil spirits were found in aspen groves.

Of course not. Aspen is a useful tree: its wood is considered especially valuable, it is soft, pliable and stains well, and the bark contains many useful substances, including antibiotics, glycerin, esters. The first aspirin was obtained from aspen bark.

In addition, the tree looks aesthetically pleasing, it has a slender trunk, neat, coin-like leaves with teeth, and a dense crown. Aspen blooms in April, with earrings of different colors in the male and female plants: male - reddish, female - green.


This tree is especially loved by children for its smooth brown fruits encased in a green husk with thorns. At the beginning of autumn, they fall, break with a crunch and shower the ground under the trees.

The plant itself is very decorative: it has a wide domed crown, carved "finger" leaves with long cuttings, and the chestnut blossoms with beautiful inflorescences in the form of candles. Some species have white flowers, while others are reddish.

Due to its attractiveness and undemanding in terms of soil and air pollution, chestnut trees are widely used in cities for the purpose of landscaping streets, squares and parks.

Chestnuts are also planted in private gardens, but in a small area, the roots of the tree can spread up to 6 meters in different directions and interfere with other plants.

This tree is known not only for its beauty. Some chestnut species have edible fruits. And even in the event that they cannot be eaten - as, for example, in the horse chestnut common in Russia - they are widely used in pharmacology and traditional medicine.

Edible chestnuts do not grow in Russia - the birthplace of these trees is in Asia, the USA, the Mediterranean. They are larger than ours (grow up to 50 meters).

The chestnut tree lives 150–200 years, but there have been cases when individual trees lived up to 2–3 thousand years.


The tree, which reaches a height of 30 meters, transmits sunlight well, despite the lush crown. This is due to the special shape of ash leaves - they are long and narrow and are held on sparse branches. It is believed that the name of the tree came precisely from this property of it - under it it is always light and clear. In addition, the tree emits a pleasant fresh aroma due to the coumarin contained in the bark.

There are more than 70 varieties of ash growing all over the world: in Europe, North America, North Africa, the Far East. In Russia, common ash is widely used. It grows in gardens and parks, but is less common in forests. More often you can see this stately handsome man in the middle of the field.

Ash tree blooms in April-May and is considered a good honey plant. The fruits appear in the fall, but can remain on the branches until the very spring - they help the birds a lot in winter, because they contain a large amount of nutrients.

The wood of this tree is of the greatest value: it is durable, beautiful in color and has an interesting texture. However, the leaves, fruits, and bark of the tree are also used for medicinal purposes.


There are quite a lot of varieties of this plant - more than 130. Cultivated varieties of cherry are well known, but there are also wild species. They are found in the Far East, China, Japan, the Himalayas. There is also a steppe wild cherry, which can be found in Russia. These trees are significantly lower than their cultivated "brothers".

And the homeland of cherries is the Black Sea coast.

Cherry - usually a low tree, no more than 10 meters, trunk diameter - about 40 centimeters. Cherries have a powerful root system and not too dense crown

From an aesthetic point of view, cherries are most attractive in April-May, when they bloom. This tree blooms profusely with beautiful white flowers.

But cherry won universal love thanks to its fruits - fragrant, dark red sweet and sour berries. They appear in June and are not only tasty, but also extremely useful: they contain vitamins, trace elements, and metals.

In the furniture industry, cherry wood is used in the manufacture of expensive furniture.

Interestingly, garden cherries are scientifically called "sour cherries", regardless of their taste. And sweet cherry (which is one of the varieties of cherries) is officially called "bird cherry".

Garden cherry lives about 100 years, wild - no more than 20.

Japan is very proud of its cherry - sakura, which blooms with pink flowers. This type of cherry is not edible, but is so beautiful that in Japan there is a special holiday - Hanami - "admiring the cherry blossoms." This event has the status of a national holiday for the Japanese. Moreover, it is customary to admire flowering not only during the day, but also in the evenings - at this time the trees are illuminated in a special way.

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Coniferous trees

Now let's get acquainted with the coniferous trees most often found in our forests.


The smell of New Year, holiday, cones and needles is familiar to all of us from childhood thanks to spruce. This evergreen plant has long been associated with eternal youth, longevity, immortality.

The appearance of spruce is well known: it is a tall (up to 30 meters) tree with a straight trunk covered with bark. The crown is pyramidal, the leaves are prickly green needles.

Spruce forests are found everywhere. In Russia and Northern Europe, Norway spruce is the most widespread. In America, China and other countries, other varieties of spruce grow.

Spruces usually live up to 200-250 years.

It is interesting that after 10 years spruce changes its root system. Getting rid of the main root, it becomes less stable. In the forest, you can often find such a “turned out” tree that has fallen from the wind.

Spruce is also blooming. The cones we know well are the female flowers of the spruce after pollination. Male flowers are like elongated earrings, they scatter pollen. Flowering occurs in May.

And in the fall, seeds ripen in cones, which are so loved by little forest dwellers.

For medicinal purposes, spruce cones, needles and resin containing a large amount of vitamins, essential and bactericidal substances are used.

Spruce wood is not considered particularly valuable - it is short-lived and rarely used in construction. At the same time, it is widely used for the manufacture of modern materials for the furniture industry. The "musical" properties of spruce are also well known. Thanks to them, wood is used to make guitars and violins.

By the way, spruce is one of the few trees capable of "reviving" - growing shoots from a dead root.


Another evergreen tree, often found in our area.

Children often confuse pine and spruce, although these are completely different trees, and even look completely different. In pine, the crown is oval and the branches are directed upwards; in spruce, it is cone-shaped with lowered branches; Pine needles are long and soft, while spruce needles are short and prickly. In addition, pine needles are much lighter and have a double structure (in spruce - single). Pine cones are round, while spruce cones are elongated.

Mostly Scotch pine grows in Russia. This tree is undemanding to the soil, but loves sunlight. In forests, it tends to grow above other trees and acquires a long bare trunk, which was previously used in shipbuilding. On the plain, the pines are more squat, with spreading branches and a lush crown.

Pine resin, resin, is especially valued in medicine. It has powerful antibacterial properties. But other components of this plant are used by humans. Bark - for making crafts; kidneys - for a healing decoction, from green pine cones they make delicious jam.

The beautiful amber stone is the petrified pine resin.


In Russia, cedar pine (or Siberian cedar) is called cedar, although this is not entirely true. Cedar and pine are different plants, even though they belong to the same family.

Cedars are large conifers that grow only in hot subtropical climates. There are Lebanese, Himalayan and Atlas cedars - trees with valuable, moisture-resistant wood. Of these, ships and houses were built in areas flooded with water (for example, in Venice). In Russia, some types of cedars can only be found in the south - in the Crimea and the Caucasus.

Cedar differs quite strongly from ordinary pine: its cones grow upwards, the needles are more fluffy, bunched and have a different, bluish color. Cedar seeds are inedible.

Siberian cedar, on the other hand, has great nutritional value thanks to its seeds - they are called "pine nuts", but they are seeds.

Siberian cedar, as you might guess from the name, grows on the territory of our country in Siberia and the Far East. It is also found in China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan. This is a frost-resistant plant, tall and strong - the diameter of the trunk reaches 2 meters. Siberian cedar lives for a long time, sometimes up to 500 years. Fruiting begins at the age of 20-70 years.

Pine cones are bluish at first but darken as they mature. When ripe, they are dark brown and very large, up to 15 centimeters long and 8 centimeters wide. The tree blooms in June.

Pine seed kernels, in addition to being very tasty, also contain a significant amount of fats, vitamins and microelements. They are widely used in medicine and, of course, in the food industry.

Cedar wood is also healing - it is able to kill microbes. This quality is used for the manufacture of various containers for storing food.

Siberian cedar wood is soft and pliable, which is why it is very popular with carvers and joiners. Children are also familiar with it: it is used to make pencils.


The most common tree species in Russia and in the world. It is unpretentious, survives both on poor soils and in severe frosts. Therefore, it can be found in any climate. She loves light, and in favorable conditions grows quickly: she can arrive up to a meter tall in a year.

Larch is sometimes mistaken for dried spruce - its needles are so thin and rare. But in general, the tree is quite large, with a thick, high (up to 45 meters) trunk. It lives for a long time, on average 500 years, but there are also thousand-year-old representatives.

Blooms in spring, in May. The tree has male and female flowers. The female cones of larch are well known - beautifully shaped and pink in color. They are often used in bouquets because they look like roses.

Cones ripen only in September and open in late autumn or even spring.

Larch has valuable wood with a pleasant honey color - hard, resilient, durable. Larch bark and resin contain useful substances that allow the use of this plant in pharmacology.

A permanent pinkish dye for textiles is extracted from the bark.

We talked about the most popular types of trees growing in Russia. Obviously, the benefits are enormous. Trees protect us from excess sunlight, dampen street noise, their fruits are suitable for food for people and animals, and are used in medicine. But, of course, the main value of trees is in their "work" to purify the air from harmful substances (primarily carbon dioxide) and enrich the atmosphere with oxygen.

Trees need to be known, loved and protected, and then these “light cities” will repay a person with kindness.

And we suggest that you also tell your child about mushrooms and wild animals that live in our forests.

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which grow in Russia and Moscow, their names, descriptions and features

It is difficult to overestimate the function that trees perform. A huge number of their species pass through incredible volumes of air every second, purifying it from carbon dioxide and other harmful impurities, being the lungs of our planet. It is quite easy to distinguish different types of trees from each other if you know what shape the foliage and crown of a particular type of tree have.

  • Plant systematics
  • Russian tree species
    • Scotch fir
    • Norway spruce
    • Cedar pine
    • European larch
    • Common birch
    • Small-leaved linden
    • Pedunculate oak
    • Common aspen
    • Norway Maple
  • Trees of Moscow

As of 2015, there were over three trillion trees worldwide. At the same time, Russia occupies the first place in terms of their number. However, due to deforestation and forest fires, the number of trees is steadily declining.

Systematics of plants

In botany, a species is a collection of individuals with similar characteristics and descended from the seeds of a single plant, the properties of which are inherited. Tree species, in turn, are divided into subspecies, forms and varieties.

Any plant has a name consisting of two words. The first designates its genus, and the second defines its specific name. For example, Norway spruce or European larch.

All plant names have Latin names and are also double. Such names are accepted in all countries and are international. The first Latin word, which always begins with a capital letter, indicates the plant's belonging to a particular genus, and the second indicates its species. For example, Larix decidua (European larch).

In turn, plant varieties can be divided into groups or breeds. The largest of them:

  1. Deciduous;
  2. Conifers.

Types of trees in Russia

The abundance and diversity of forests, in addition to Russia, not all countries can boast of. Perhaps only Brazil and Canada are the only closest competitors.

The most famous trees of central Russia have long been sung in songs, poems and prose have been written about them. Birch, aspen, pine, oak, willow and other species have entered folklore since ancient times. It is worth noting that conifers are the most numerous of their species in Russia.

Main names of coniferous trees in Russia:

  • Scotch fir;
  • Norway spruce;
  • Cedar pine;
  • European larch.

Scotch fir

Fir grows mainly in the European part of Russia. However, found in Siberia and the Caucasus . The height of the plant can reach up to 50 meters, with a meter-thick trunk. The lifespan of this powerful evergreen tree ranges from 500 to 700 years.

Scotch fir has a sharp and well-defined crown cone, and shiny needles with a dark tint are decorated with white stripes in the stomata on the reverse side. The color of the bark of this plant is light gray, but you can find trunks with a reddish tint.

At the age of about 40-50 years fir begins to bear fruit. Fir cones, bark and needles are widely used in folk medicine for the preparation of various infusions and decoctions.

Norway spruce

In Russia, spruce is a forest-forming species and grows throughout the country. The height of this plant reaches 35 meters, but there are giants up to 50 meters.

The spruce crown is in the form of a regular cone, which descends to the very ground. The upper part of the crown is always sharp and never changes its shape.

The needles of spruce are four-sided, flattened, shiny and with a dark green tint, having a needle-like shape. The length of such needles reaches 2-3 centimeters and more . Near the ground, the trunk diameter of an adult spruce ranges from 80 to 120 cm. Spruce grows throughout its life, sometimes reaching 300 years of age.

Cedar pine

Siberian cedar, or cedar pine, is a plant with a trunk width of up to one and a half meters and a height of up to 45 m. The needles of the cedar pine are trihedral, growing in small bunches. Among the pine family, cedar is one of its most ancient representatives. A tree lives up to 500 - 600 years, and under favorable conditions - up to 800.

In the Urals in the last century , according to some information, it was possible to meet cedar pines with a trunk up to two meters wide. Now it is unrealistic to meet such giants. They have long been gone, not only in the Urals, but even in Siberia.

The trunk is slender, branching begins at a height of 1.5-2 meters. The bark is in small cracks of a gray or brownish-red hue. The needles are trihedral, collected in bunches of 5 needles. The crown of the cedar has a pyramidal shape of dark green color with a gray tint.

European larch

European larch is the most common species among all the rest of its family. Its height can reach 50 meters, but most often - 25-40 m. The crown of a larch does not always have the shape of a regular cone. Bark scaly and thin , and on mature trees cracked.

Larch needles are light green in color, sometimes you can see a color with a bluish coating. On short shoots, the needles grow in bunches.

The tree grows in the European part of the country and in the Urals, and the maximum age of life reaches 500 years.

The most numerous representatives of deciduous species in Russia:

  • Common birch;
  • Small-leaved linden;
  • Pedunculate oak;
  • Common aspen;
  • Norway maple.

Common birch

The famous birch grows in central Russia, and its habitat ranges from hot subtropics to areas with a very harsh climate. An adult tree reaches 40 meters in height and up to one and a half meters in width.

The color of the bark of the tree is white or pink with a brown tint, sometimes you can find birches with a yellowish-white trunk. Young birch branches are red-brown in color with characteristic dark warts.

Small-leaved linden

This tree grows from the west of Russia to the Urals. The height of the trunk ranges from 20 to 30 meters, and the crown, which has a spherical shape, gives it a majestic appearance. The diameter of the crown can reach from 15 to 20 meters. The tree lives up to 600 years.

Linden is known for its beneficial properties, due to which its leaves are actively used in cooking. Many recipes of traditional medicine are based on leaves, bark and even roots of small-leaved linden.

The tree is an excellent honey plant. Its persistent aroma actively attracts bees, and honey is viscous, healing and tasty, with the highest quality.

English oak

Tree of the beech family. Another name is common oak. The crown of the tree is broad-pyramidal or spherical with large massive branches.

Young trees have a gray bark, while mature trees have a dark bark with large cracks. The height of the tree reaches 50 meters, and the width is up to 2 m. The average life expectancy of this plant is 500 years.

Oak leaves are lobed with a characteristic toothed-rounded edge of a simple shape. By mid-autumn, fruits begin to ripen at the oak - acorns.

Common aspen

The habitat of this plant is places with a cold and temperate climate throughout Russia. The aspen trunk, which has a wedge-shaped shape, reaches a height of up to 35 meters, with a diameter of 1 meter.

The tree lives only up to 90 years, and only in rare cases up to 150. Young trees have a greenish-gray smooth bark, while in adults it becomes darker and cracks.

Aspen is very rich in useful properties. Since ancient times, the bark of this tree has been added to food, after being dried and crushed. She relieved fatigue, which was especially important for the taiga residents.

Norway maple

Known for its unique leaf shape, it grows up to 30 meters in height. In good conditions, maple can live up to 200 years. The reddish-gray tint and smooth bark distinguish young trees from older trees, which are darker in color and cracked.

Maple leaves up to 20 cm in diameter with pronounced veins and five lobes, the bottom two being small and the top three being large. In autumn, maple becomes especially beautiful when its leaves begin to turn brown, red, yellow.

Maple is most common in the European part of Russia and the Caucasus, in broad-leaved and mixed forests. Maple juice, leaves and shoots are widely used in folk medicine.

Trees of Moscow

In the parks of the capital you can even find species that are not typical for the area, some of which were planted and grown on purpose.

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