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  • Tree Identification Resources for Students and Teachers How to Use the Tree Finder by May Watts

    Tree identification allows you to recognize the diversity of the plants in your surrounding environments. Trees are incredibly diverse and have

    unique features, shapes and textures that are interesting to discover! Use the directions below to help you identify the trees in your environment using the Tree Finder guide by May Watts.

    *Note this book uses a dichotomous key in order to identify different species of trees. Dichotomous keys give you a series of choices (usually in

    couplets or two lines). These choices identify the things that an organism is or is not in order to lead you to the correct species.

    1. Distribute a Tree Finder to each group of students. 2. Open to page 5 and Begin in the Start Here section at the top of the page. 3. While looking at the trees leaves answer the first question and find the corresponding symbol on the correct page identified in the

    question. 4. Continue to answer the questions, moving to the correct page and finding the corresponding symbols. You will need to look at the leafs

    shape, arrangement and other distinguishing characteristics. 5. Eventually after you have answered a series of questions concerning what the leaf is or is not , you will end at the name of the tree

    species. 6. Have fun and enjoy learning about all the ways that trees and their leaves contain unique and diverse features!

    Other Tree Identification Resources: Online Dichotomous Tree Id through the Arbor Day Foundation:

    Online Dichotomous Tree Id through the Oregon State University (mainly for coniferous trees):

    Online Dichotomous Tree ID Through the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point:

    Common Illinois Tree Id Document from The Morton Arboretum (attached on next page)

  • Tree Identification Activity1

    Use the following pictures to identify common urban trees. For additional tree identification

    information, check out

    Species Leaf Seed Bark, Flower or Tree

    American elm

    Siberian elm

    1 Photographs in this activity are from and

  • (seeds)



    Green ash

  • White ash

    Silver maple

  • Sugar maple

    Red maple

  • Black maple

    Norway maple


    White oak

  • Swamp white oak

    Red oak

  • Bur oak

    Pin oak

  • Basswood


    Black walnut

  • Kentucky Coffeetree

  • Catalpa


    White Poplar

  • (underside of leaf)

    Eastern White pine

    White spruce

    Blue spruce


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