Tree Identification in Winter – Part Two
Look for left over growth up inside the branches. The tulip tree for example, with its large vertical trunk and thin upright flowers, that stay all winter, is common and simple to recognize.
Learn your tree families, instead of isolating trees by specific species. A peach, a cherry, a plum, a hawthorn, a pear, are all in the identical family, with edible fruit – the rose family. Trees with pods are in the same family, like silk tree, mesquite and locust. There are not a whole lot of different tree families in any area in the world – if you can class your trees in their respective families you are going to be far better able to identify them and their characteristics. Other examples are beech and oak and chestnut are all in the edible nut family. Cottonwood is actually an enormous member of the willow family, a family that grows beside water. The tulip tree is in the magnolia family – it has huge flamboyant flowers, just like the magnolia.
- Look for anything flowering, even inside the dead of winter. For example the red maple is usually the first tree to flower in the spring – in the South that’s actually in February.
- Look for leftover fruit, since they can occasionally remain deep in to the winter. Fruit is very easy to recognize. Great examples are cherry trees.
- Look for trees with giant buds, also old woody remnants of the earlier year’s fruit.
- Look for trees still keeping their dead leaves all through the winter. or trees like the conifer which holds onto its cones all year. Tree identification by dead leaves, needles and cones is a great way to start.
- Take photographs with your phone, and save them in a folder with the name in the caption. Begin compiling a database of trees. Tree identification will become a lot easier if you can quickly reference photos.
There are also great tree identification app’s like Leaf Snap that will actually help you with your tree identification education.