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: http://www.arborday.org/trees/whattree/?TrackingID=908
Online Dichotomous Tree Id through the Oregon State University (mainly for coniferous trees): http://oregonstate.edu/trees/dichotomous_key.html
Online Dichotomous Tree ID Through the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point: http://www.uwsp.edu/cnr-ap/leaf/Pages/TreeKey/treeToIdentify.aspx?feature=Main
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 http://plants.usda.gov/java/
Species Leaf Seed Bark, Flower or Tree
1 Photographs in this activity are from http://plants.usda.gov/java/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/37738527@N06/collections/