Hardwood tree identification is an important first step towards understanding and valuing our woodlots. Once we can identify each species, we can begin to assign different values to those species, and the roles they play in helping us achieve (or impede) our ownership objectives.
Hardwood tree identification goes beyond looking at leaves. Leaves are apparent for only a few months of the year, and even then leaves are limited through their variability. Beyond the leaves, the use of twigs, buds, bark, habit, habitat, and fruit are useful features. All five senses can (carefully) factor into the process of identification.
There are numerous resources available to assist someone seeking to improve their tree identification and study (AKA dendrology) skills. A starting point, as an overview, is the webinar from 1/16/2013 that is available HERE. On February 20th, part II of tree id will focus on conifer identification and ecology. If not already, register to receive notice of future webinar details HERE.
If you watched the webinar, but missed the exit evaluation, please complete that here. As an interesting aside on the new web conferencing software system we use (WebEx), the new upper limit of participants is 1000.
Within the webinar, some other resources were mentioned including the following:
Please take a moment to consider viewing some of the dendrology slides in the picture section of this site. Also, if you have a plant you can't identify, take a high quality (i.e., not blurry) picture from a couple angles, and post them into the Q & A section of this site. Someone will likely know what it is, or get you close.
Copy of the webinar presentation: Hardwood Tree Identification - Webinar Document