Tree species identification and classification
Do you know the name of the tree in your garden? Most likely you do but what about the tree at the end of your street or the trees that you see in the forest? The process of tree identification and classification can be difficult. There are thousands of tree species worldwide, making it a big challenge. Luckily there are many similarities and clues that help you to identify and classify a tree. Pick up the challenge learn more about the trees in your area!
Tree appearance, leaf and fruit description
All trees start small but even then distinctive appearances are present. Tree length, size, color and shape are good indicators to identify species. Other great indicators are leaves and they come in many shapes and sizes. Broadleaves and needles are the two dominant leaf shapes. The majority of trees can be classed into these two categories, with the exception of ginkgos. Tree fruits and seeds are other good indicators to identify and classify species. Almost all trees first produce flowers that turn into fruits and seeds afterwards. Tree fruits and seeds give valuable information about a single tree or a wide range of species that all have the same types of fruits and seeds.
Tree bark and trunk
Bark is the protective layer of the tree. It protects the tree against elements, diseases, animals and insects. Both color and shape are great indicators and give much information. Young bark often has a different color and shape that changes when the tree gets older. The tree trunk is another good indicator. Length, shape and size of the trunk give valuable information. Some trees like the Californian redwood tree or Sequoia have extremely long trunks with a diameter of 30 feet or 5 meters, not easy to miss!
Tree wood properties and uses
Tree wood and lumber properties are also valuable indicators. Fast growing trees often have soft heartwood with little texture. Wood densities, hardness, durability, stiffness, bending strength are all good indicators that give valuable information about the tree type. This information is great to identify and classify the species. It is also useful for wood working, building and construction and other tree and wood uses because trees have us so much good to offer!