American elm Ulmaceae
Leaf: Alternate, 3 to 6 inches long, 1 to 3 inches wide; margin coarsely
and sharply doubly serrate, base of leaf conspicuously inequilateral;
upper surface glabrous or slightly scabrous, paler and downy beneath.
Flower: Appears March to May before leaf buds open, in fascicles of 3 to
Fruit: Rounded samaras, 3/8 to 1/2 inch across, deeply notched at apex,
hairless except for margin; appears April to May.
Twig: Slender, glabrous, slightly zigzag, reddish-brown; buds over 1/4
inch long, reddish-brown with darker edged scales, often placed a little to
one side of the twig.
Bark: Dark, ashy-gray, flat-topped ridges separated by diamond-shaped
fissures; outer bark when sectioned shows distinct, alternating, buff
colored and reddish-brown patches. When young it is often quite spongy.
Form: In the open, the trunk is usually divided into several large,
ascending and arching limbs, ending in a maze of graceful drooping
American elm Ulmaceae Ulmus americana
Leaf: Linear and small, 1/4 to 3/4 inch long, green to yellow-green,
generally appearing two-ranked. When growing on deciduous branchlets
the leaf-deciduous branchlet structure resembles a feathery pinnately (or
bi-pinnately) compound leaf. Flower: Males in drooping long panicles.
Females are subglobose, peltate scales, and tend to occur near the end
Fruit: Cones are composed of peltate scales forming a woody, brown
sphere with rough surfaces, 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter. Cones disintegrate
into irregular-shaped seeds.
Twig: May be deciduous or not. Non-deciduous twigs are slender,
alternate, brown, rough, with round buds near the end of the twig.
Deciduous twigs are two-ranked, resembling pinnately compound leaves.
Bark: Fibrous, red-brown but may be gray where exposed to the weather.
Old, thick bark may appear somewhat scaly.
Form: A large tree with a pyramid-shaped crown, cylindrical bole, fluted
or buttressed base and often with knees.
Baldcypress Taxodiaceae Taxodium distichum
Tiliaceae Tilia americana
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, ovate to cordate, 5 to 6 inches
long, with serrate margins. The base is unequally cordate. Flower: Pale
yellow, borne on pendulous cymes, with a narrow leaf-like bract. Maturing
June to July.
Fruit: A round, unribbed nutlet that is covered with gray-brown hair. The
bract is persistent, 4 inches long when mature. Ripening September to
Twig: Moderately stout, zigzag, red or green in color. The terminal bud is
false. Buds are edible and very mucilaginous.
Bark: Gray or brown, ridged with long shallow furrows. The bark appears
very fibrous. Young stems are smooth and gray-green.
Form: A medium-sized tree. Older trees very often sprout from the base
when cut. Stumps sprout prolifically, often resulting in clumps of several
American basswood Tiliaceae Tilia americana
American beech Fagaceae
Leaf: Alternate, simple, elliptical to oblong-ovate, 2 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches
long, pinnately-veined, with each vein ending in a tooth. Leaves feel dry
Flower: Male flowers borne on globose heads, female flowers borne on
spikes. Flowers appear just after leaves in the spring.
Fruit: Nuts are irregularly triangular, shiny brown and edible, found in
pairs within a woody husk covered with spines, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long.
Maturing September to November.
Twig: Very slender, zigzag, light brown in color. Buds are long (3/4 inch),
light brown, and slender, covered with overlapping scales; best described
Bark: The bark is smooth, thin, and gray in color, sometimes mottled.
Often carved with initials.
Form: A medium to large tree with a rounded crown. Often found in
thickets produced by root suckering. Old trees may be surrounded by a
ring of young beech.
American beech Fagaceae Fagus grandifolia
Black cherry Rosaceae
Leaf: Alternate, 2 to 5 inches long, oval to oblong, lance-shaped. Margins
are finely serrated, dark green and lustrous above, paler below; usually
with a dense yellowish-brown, sometimes white pubescence along mid-
rib. Flower: White racemes appear when leaves are half to newly formed.
Flowers May to July.
Fruit: Flesh is dark purple, almost black when ripe, with a bitter-sweet
taste. Matures June to October.
Twig: Slender, reddish-brown, sometimes covered in gray epidermis,
pronounced bitter almond odor and taste. Buds are about 1/5 inch long
covered in several, glossy, reddish-brown to greenish scales. Leaf scars
are small and semicircular with 3 bundle scars.
Bark: Smooth with narrow, horizontal lenticels when young. It becomes
very dark (nearly black) breaking up into small, rough, irregular, upturned
plates (burnt corn flakes), when older.
Form: Medium-sized tree which on good sites develops a long, straight,
Black cherry Rosaceae Prunus serotina
Black locust Fabaceae
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound with 7 to 19 leaflets. Leaves are 8 to
14 inches long. Leaflets are oval, one inch long, with entire margins.
Leaves resemble sprigs of grapes.
Flower: Showy and aromatic, white, 5 lobed, borne in racemes, 5 inches
long. Present May through June.
Fruit: Brown, flattened, shaped like pea pods, 2 to 4 inches long;
containing 4 to 8 kidney-shaped, smooth, red-brown seeds. Maturing
September to October.
Twig: Zigzag, somewhat stout and angular, red-brown in color. Spines
are paired, 2 at each leaf. Buds are submerged beneath the leaf scar.
Bark: Gray or dark brown, ridged and furrowed-- resembles a woven
Form: May develop a straight stem with a very small crown. Often forms
thickets by root suckering.
Black locust Fabaceae Robinia pseudoacacia
Black walnut Juglandaceae
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound with 10 to 24 leaflets, 12 to 24
inches long. Leaflets are ovate-lanceolate, finely serrate, and are 3 to 3
1/2 inches long. The rachis is stout and somewhat pubescent. Poorly
formed or missing terminal leaflet. Flower: Male flowers are single-
stemmed catkins, 2 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches long. Female flowers on short
spikes near twig end, yellow-green in color. Present April to June.
Fruit: Round with a thick, green indehiscent husk. The husk contains an
irregularly furrowed nut that contains sweet, oily meat (edible). Maturing
September to October.
Twig: Stout, light brown, with a buff-colored chambered pith. Buds are
short, blunt with a few pubescent scales. Leaf scars are 3-lobed,
resembling a "monkey face".
Bark: Light brown on surface, dark brown when cut, ridged and furrowed
with a rough diamond pattern.
Form: A medium-sized tree that developes a straight, clear bole with a
narrow crown under competition. Twigs and branches quite stout.
Black walnut Juglandaceae Juglans nigra
Blackgum Nyssaceae Nyssa
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, obovate in shape with an entire
margin, 3 to 5 inches long. Rarely toothed. Flower: Not showy, green-
white in color, appearing with the leaves, hanging in clusters.
Fruit: A dark, purplish-blue drupe, 1/2 inch long, with a fleshy coating
surrounding a ribbed pit.
Twig: Slender, red-brown to gray in color, with a diaphragmed pith. One
to 2 inch curved spur shoots are often present. Buds are multicolored,
including purple and green.
Bark: Gray, quite often blocky--resembling alligator hide on very old
stems. Otherwise scaly or ridged and ashy-gray (nearly nondescript).
Form: A medium-sized tree, with slightly curled spur shoots. Branches
stand at right angles to the trunk.
Blackgum Nyssaceae Nyssa sylvatica
Boxelder Aceraceae Acer
Leaf: Opposite, pinnately compound, 3 to 5 leaflets (sometimes 7), 2 to 4
inches long, margin coarsely serrate or somewhat lobed, shape variable,
green above and paler below.
Flower: Dioecious; yellow-green, in drooping racemes; appearing in April
Fruit: Paired V-shaped samara, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, appear
September to October in drooping clusters, persist throughout winter.
Twig: Green to purplish green, moderately stout, leaf scars narrow,
meeting in raised points, often covered with a glaucous bloom, buds white
and hairy, lateral buds appressed.
Bark: Thin, gray to light brown, with shallow interlacing ridges. Young
bark is generally warty.
Form: Medium-sized tree, usually has poor form, multiple trunks, sprouts
often occur on bole.
Boxelder Aceraceae Acer negundo
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound with 11 to 17 leaflets, 15 to 25
inches long. The leaflets are oblong-lanceolate in shape with serrate
margins. The rachis is stout and pubescent with a well developed terminal
leaflet. Flower: Male flowers are single-stemmed catkins, 2 1/2 to 5 1/2
inches long. Female flowers are on a spike near the end of the twig,
green-yellow in color. Present April to June.
Fruit: Oblong, with a yellow-green sticky indehiscent husk. The husk
contains an irregularly-ribbed nut containing sweet, oily meat. Maturing
September to October.
Twig: Stout, may be somewhat pubescent, red-brown to gray, with a
chambered pith that is very dark brown in color. Buds are large and
covered with a few light colored pubescent scales. Leaf scars are 3-lobed,
resembling a "monkey face". A tuft of pubescence is present above the
leaf scar resembling an "eyebrow".
Bark: Light, ashy gray, with flattened ridges, developing diamond shaped
Form: A small to medium-sized tree with a forked or crooked trunk and
Butternut Juglandaceae Juglans cinerea
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, 3 to 6 inches long, triangular
(deltoid) in shape with a crenate/serrate margin. The petiole is flattened
and glands are present at the top of the petiole.
Flower: Dioecious, male and female as pendulous catkins, appearing
before the leaves.
Fruit: Cottony seeds, 1/4 inch long borne in a dehiscent capsule.
Maturing over summer.
Twig: Stout, somewhat angled and yellowish. Buds are 3/4 inch long,
covered with several brown, resinous scales. Has a bitter aspirin taste.
Bark: Smooth, gray to yellow-green when young. Later turning gray with
thick ridges and deep furrows.
Form: A large tree with a clear bole and an open spreading crown
resulting in a somewhat vase-shaped form.
Cottonwood Salicaceae Populus deltoides
Leaf: Evergreen, with two types of leaves, often on the same tree. Scale
leaves 1/16 inch long, dark green, with 4 sides. Awl leaves are more
common on young trees, 1/8 to 3/8 inch long, dark blue-green and sharp-
Flower: Dioecious, but occasionally monoecious; males are yellow-
brown, occurring in large groups; females are light blue-green.
Fruit: Berry-like cones, light green in spring, turning dark blue and
glaucous at maturity, about 1/4 inch in diameter. Appearing March to May.
Maturing September to November.
Twig: Green for several years, covered in scales, later turning brown.
Bark: Red-brown in color, exfoliating in long, fibrous strips, often ashy
gray where exposed.
Form: A small tree with a dense pyramidal or columnar crown.
Eastern redcedar Cupressaceae Juniperus
Cornaceae Cornus florida
Leaf: Opposite, simple, arcuately veined, 3 to 6 inches long, oval in
shape with an entire margin. Flower: Very small, but surrounded by 4
large white (occasionally pink) bracts, 2 inches in diameter. Appearing
March to April in the south, June in the north.
Fruit: A shiny, oval red drupe, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, in clusters of 3 to 4.
Maturing in September to October.
Twig: Slender, green or purple, later turning gray, often with a glaucous
bloom. The terminal flower buds are clove-shaped, vegetative buds
resemble a cat claw.
Bark: Gray when young, turning very scaly to blocky.
Form: A small tree with a short trunk that branches low, producing a flat-
topped crown. Branches are opposite, and assume a "candelabra"
Flowering dogwood Cornaceae Cornus florida
Green ash Oleaceae
Leaf: Opposite, pinnately compound with 7 to 9 serrate leaflets that are
lanceolate to elliptical in shape. The leaf is 6 to 9 inches long and is
glabrous to silky-pubescent below.
Flower: Dioecious, both sexes lacking petals, occuring as panicles.
Flowers appear after the leaves unfold.
Fruit: A one-winged, dry, flattened samara with a slender, thin, seed
cavity, maturing September to October and dispersing over winter.
Twig: Stout to medium texture, gray to green-brown and either glabrous
or pubescent, depending on variety. Leaf scars are semicircular, lacking
the notched top.
Bark: Ashy gray to brown in color, with interlacing corky ridges forming
obvious diamonds. Older trees may be somewhat scaly.
Form: A medium-sized tree with a poorly formed bole and an irregular
Green ash Oleaceae Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Hackberry Ulmaceae Celtis
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, 2 to 5 inches long. Leaves are
ovate, with acuminate tips and a cordate, inequilateral base, three distinct
veins meet at base. Leaf margins are serrate and may be somewhat
Flower: Very small (1/8 inch) and green, produced on stalks near the
twig. Each flower with a 4 or 5 lobed calyx. Apparent in April to May.
Fruit: Fleshy, globose drupe, 1/4 to 3/8 inch in diameter, turning orange-
red to dark purple when ripe. The flesh is thin and quite dry but edible and
sweet, enclosing a large pit. Maturing in September and October.
Twig: Slender zigzag, light red-brown in color. The terminal bud is
lacking, but a pseudoterminal bud is present. Lateral buds are small,
tapering, and appressed, pith chambered at the nodes.
Bark: Gray or light brown in color, smooth with corky "warts" or ridges.
Much later becoming scaly.
Form: A small to medium-sized tree.
Hackberry Ulmaceae Celtis occidentalis
Live oak Fagaceae Quercus
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, leathery, 2 to 5 inches long, oblong or elliptical
in shape with an entire or spiny and revolute margin. The upper surface is lustrous,
the lower is pale and pubescent. Generally, not bristle-tipped.
Flower: Staminate flowers borne on catkins. Pistillate flowers borne on spikes.
Appearing March through May.
Fruit: Acorns are in clusters of 3 to 5, maturing in one season. The nut is dark in
color, 3/4 inch long and covered 1/3 by the cap. The cap is bowl-shaped and warty,
termed "turbinate" by Harlow et al. Maturing in September of the first year.
Twig: Slender, gray and pubescent, with small, blunt, multiple terminal buds.
Bark: Rapidly developing red-brown furrows with small surface scales. Later,
becoming black and very blocky.
Form: A medium-sized tree that can grow to massive proportions. Open-grown
trees develop a huge rounded crown. The largest crowns may be 150 feet across.
Live oak Fagaceae Quercus virginiana
Loblolly pine Pinaceae
Leaf: Evergreen, 6 to 9 inches long, with (usually) three yellow-green
needles per fascicle.
Flower: Monoecious; males long cylindrical, red to yellow, in clusters at
branch tips; females yellow to purple.
Fruit: Cones are ovoid to cylindrical and red-brown in color. The umbo is
armed with a short spine. Cones are roughly the size of a potato (3 to 6
inches). Maturing September to October.
Twig: Orange-brown in color, fine to moderately stout. Buds are light
Bark: Quite variable. When young, appears brown and scaly. Older trees
are ridged and furrowed, with somewhat apparent blocks. Very old trees
have red-brown scaly plates.
Form: A medium to large tree that self-prunes well and develops a
straight trunk and an oval, somewhat dense crown.
Loblolly pine Pinaceae Pinus taeda
Longleaf pine Pinaceae Pinus
Leaf: Evergreen, very long and feathery (8 to 18 inches long), with three
dark green needles per fascicle. Flower: Monoecious; males yellow-red,
long, in clusters; females oval, purple.
Fruit: Very large (largest cone in the Eastern U. S. --6 to 10 inches long),
ovoid to conical in shape, sessile. Scales are red-brown in color. The
umbo is armed with a curved prickle. Maturing September to October.
Twig: Very stout, brown, with large obvious, asbestos-white buds.
Bark: Quite scaly, orange-brown to gray, will eventually develop plates.
Form: A medium-sized tree with a straight trunk, coarse branches and
tufted needles at ends of branches.
Longleaf pine Pinaceae Pinus palustris
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, with 7 to 9 serrate, lanceolate to
obovate-lanceolate leaflets. The terminal leaflet is larger than the laterals.
The leaf is 9 to 14 inches long, but may be longer in the understory. The
rachis is stout and very pubescent. Flower: Male flowers are drooping
catkins, with 3 hanging from one stalk, 3 to 4 inches long. Female flowers
in clusters of 2 to 5 near the tip of the twig. Appearing in April to May.
Fruit: Obovoid to ellipsoidal in shape, 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. The husk is
thick (although less thick than C. ovata) and dehiscent; 4-ribbed nut,
sweet and edible. The fruit matures from September to October.
Twig: Stout and pubescent, the 3-lobed leaf scars are best described as
a "monkey face". The terminal bud is very large, and the scales are
deciduous, revealing a silky white bud.
Bark: Gray-brown close, with interlaced round-topped ridges and shallow
furrows, not shaggy or exfoliating.
Form: A medium-sized tree with a straight stem and a rounded crown.
Mockernut hickory Juglandaceae Carya
Red mulberry Moraceae
Leaf: Alternate, simple, roughly orbicular in shape, 3 to 5 inches long with
a serrate margin. Leaves may be 0 to 3-lobed, (sometimes more). Leaves
are papery, with white fibers apparent when torn. Flower: Normally
dioecious, small, green, male flowers are hanging catkins, 1 to 2 inches
long. Female flowers, also catkins, are 1 inch long.
Fruit: Resembling blackberries, cylindrical, 1 to 1 1/4 inches long, fleshy
multiples of drupes, each containing a small seed. Maturing June to
Twig: Slender, zigzag, green changing to red-brown. Twigs are often
pubescent. Buds are covered with brown-margined overlapping scales.
Silvery-white filaments when broken.
Bark: Reddish-brown and quite irregular with long ridges. Younger trees
are often orangish, especially when wet.
Form: A small tree, with a short trunk that branches low.
Red mulberry Moraceae Morus rubra
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound with 9 to 15 finely serrate and often
curved leaflets, 12 to 18 inches long.
Flower: Male flowers in hanging, yellow-green catkins, often in pairs of
three (4 to 5 inches long). Females are small and yellowish green, 4-
Fruit: Large, oblong, brown, splotched with black, thin shelled nuts, 1 ½
to 2 inches long, husks are thin, usually occur in clusters on trees. Mature
in September and October.
Twig: Moderately stout, light brown, fuzzy particularly, when young; leaf
scars large and three lobed; buds are yellowish brown to brown, hairy,
terminal buds ¼ to ½ inch long.
Bark: Smooth when young, becoming narrowly fissured into thin broken
strips, often scaly.
Form: A large tree (can reach heights well over 100 feet) with spreading
crown when in the open.
Pecan Juglandaceae Carya illinoensis
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately-veined, 2 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches long.
Oblong to oval, lustrous dark green above, entire margin. Flower: Usually
dioecious, white to greenish-white, male flowers in 3's. Female flowers
solitary, both about 1/2 inch long. Present March to mid-June.
Fruit: A plum-like berry that is green before ripening, turning orange to
black when ripe, 3/4 to 2 inches in diameter when ripe. The fruit is
astringent when green, sweet and edible when ripe. Matures September
to November with frost.
Twig: Slender, light brown to gray, maybe scabrous or pubescent. Buds
are dark red to black with 2 bud scales, triangular in shape. Leaf scar has
one vascular bundle trace.
Bark: Very dark, broken up into square scaly thick plates; reminiscent of
Form: A small to medium-sized tree with a round-topped crown. In forest
stands the stem may be straight, tall, and slender.
Common persimmon Ebenaceae Diospyros
Pignut hickory Juglandaceae
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, with 5 (sometimes 7) leaflets.
Leaflets are lanceolate and serrate. The rachis is slender and glabrous.
Flower: Male flowers are drooping catkins, with three hanging from one
stalk, 2 to 3 inches long. Female flowers are short and found in clusters at
the end of the branches. Present April to May.
Fruit: Obovoid to pear-shaped, 1 to 2 inches long, with a thin husk that
only partially dehisces upon maturation. The nut is not ribbed and the
seed is usually bitter. Ripening in September to October.
Twig: Moderately stout to slender (when compared to the other hickories)
and glabrous. Leaf scars are 3-lobed to cordate--best described as a
"monkey face". The terminal bud is small and light brown in color.
Bark: The bark on young trees is smooth, soon becoming finely shaggy.
The bark on older trees has obvious close interlacing ridges.
Form: A medium-sized tree with a rounded crown and a straight trunk.
Pignut hickory Juglandaceae Carya glabra
Post oak Fagaceae
Leaf: Alternate, simple, 6 to 10 inches long, oblong in shape, with 5
lobes, thickened texture. The two middle lobes are square, resulting in an
overall cruciform appearance. The upper surface has scattered stellate
pubescence. The lower surface is pubescent. Flower: Male flowers are
green, borne in naked catkins, 2 to 4 inches long. Female flowers are
reddish and appear as single spikes. Appearing with the leaves.
Fruit: Acorns are 1/2 to 2/3 inches long and ovoid. The cap is bowl-
shaped and warty, covering 1/3 to 1/2 of the nut. Individual scales are
more apparent than white oak. Maturing in one year, ripening September
Twig: Gray or tawny-tomentose and dotted with numerous lenticels. The
multiple terminal buds are short, blunt, chestnut-brown in color, and
pubescent, short, threadlike stipules may be present.
Bark: Very similar to white oak or bur oak, but more reddish-brown in
Form: A small to medium-sized tree with a crown that has snarled and
Post oak Fagaceae Quercus stellata
Red maple Aceraceae
Leaf: Opposite, 3 to 5 palmate lobes with serrate margins, sinuses
relatively shallow (but variable), 2 to 4 inches long; light green above,
whitened and sometimes glaucous or hairy beneath.
Flower: Appear March to May, usually before leaves; usually bright red
but occasionally yellow.
Fruit: Clusters of 1/2 to 3/4 inch long fruit with slighly divergent wings,
appear May to June, on long slender stems. Light brown and often
Twig: Reddish and lustrous with small lenticels, buds usually blunt, green
or reddish (fall and winter) with several scales usually present, leaf scars
V-shaped, 3 bundle scars, lateral buds slightly stalked, may be collateral
Bark: On young trees, smooth and light gray, with age becomes darker
and breaks up into long scaly plates.
Form: Medium-sized tree. In forest, trunk usually clear for some distance,
in the open the trunk is shorter and the crown rounded.
Red maple Aceraceae Acer rubrum
Leaf: Alternate, simple, cordate in shape with an entire margin, 3 to 5
inches long and wide. The leaves are thin and papery, and may be
slightly hairy below. Flower: Very showy, light to dark pink in color, 1/2
inch long, appearing in clusters in March to May, before the leaves.
Fruit: Fruits are flattened, dry, brown, pea-like pods, 2 to 4 inches long
that contain flat, elliptical, brown seeds 1/4 inch long. Maturing in July to
Twig: Slender and zigzag, nearly black in color, spotted with lighter
lenticels. Winter buds are tiny, rounded and dark red to chestnut in color.
Bark: Smooth, later scaly with ridges somewhat apparent. Dark in color.
May have some maroon patches evident.
Form: A large shrub or small tree with a short, often twisted trunk and
Redbud Caesalpiniaceae Cercis canadensis
River birch Betulaceae
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately-veined, rhombic to ovate, 1 1/2 to 3
inches long, obviously doubly serrate, with a wedge-shaped base; green
above, paler and fuzzy below. Flower: Preformed aments, male near the
end of the twig, 2 to 3 inches long. Female catkins upright, 1/4 to 1/2 inch
long. Flowering in early spring.
Fruit: Cone like, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, with many hairy scales,
containing tiny, 3-winged seeds.
Twig: Slender, orangish-brown in color, smooth or slightly pubescent,
with the terminal bud absent. Lateral buds may be slightly pubescent. No
wintergreen odor when cut.
Bark: Smooth on young trees, salmon to rust colored. On older trees,
developing papery scales, exfoliating horizontally with several colors
(creamy to orangish-brown) visible. Later developing coarse scales.
Form: River birch is a medium-size tree with poor form. The trunk
generally divides low into several arching branches.
River birch Betulaceae Betula nigra
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, ovate to elliptical, entire, 3 to 6
inches long with 1 to 3 lobes. The 2-lobed leaf resembles a mitten, the 3-
lobed leaf resembles a trident. Flower: Dioecious, green-yellow in color,
borne in 2 inch racimes. Present March to April.
Fruit: Dark blue, ovoid, fleshy drupes that are borne on red stalks.
Maturing August to September.
Twig: Slender, green and sometimes pubescent, with a spicy-sweet
aroma when broken. Buds are 1/4 inch long and green.
Bark: Brown, with cinnamon-brown inner bark, becoming coarsely, ridged
and furrowed. When cut the spicy aroma is obvious.
Form: Small to medium-sized tree with an irregular, usually flat-topped
crown. Root suckering may result in thickets.
Sassafras Lauraceae Sassafras albidum
Juglandaceae Carya ovata
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound with 5 (sometimes 7) leaflets 8 to 14
inches long. The lateral leaflets are obovate to lanceolate. The terminal
leaflets are much larger than the laterals. Margins are serrate and ciliate.
The rachis is stout and mostly glabrous. Flower: Male flowers are catkins,
hanging in 3's, 2 to 3 inches long. Females are short, in clusters at the
end of branches. Flowers appear April to June.
Fruit: Nearly round, 1 1/2 inches, with a very thick husk. The nut is 4-
ribbed, and the seed is sweet and delicious, maturing from September to
Twig: Stout and usually glabrous, but may be somewhat pubescent. The
leaf scars are raised, 3-lobed to semicircular--best described as a
"monkey face". Lenticels are apparent. The terminal bud is large, brown,
and pubescent, covered with 3 to 4 brown scales.
Bark: First smooth and gray. Later broken into long plates attached at the
middle, curving away from the trunk resulting in a coarsely shaggy
Form: A medium to tall tree with a straight trunk and an open, round to
Shagbark hickory Juglandaceae Carya ovata
Shortleaf pine Pinaceae
Leaf: Evergreen, 3 to 5 inches long, two or three (on the same branch)
slender and flexible needles per fascicle, dark yellow-green in color. The
fascicle sheath is persistent. Flower: Monoecious; males cylindrical, red to
yellow, in clumps at ends of twigs; females light green to red and armed.
Fruit: Compact, 2 inches long, ovoid, somewhat persistent. Cones are
red to brown in color. The umbo is armed with a small prickle. Maturing
October to November.
Twig: Green and purple when young, later turning red-brown.
Bark: Scaly and dark on young trees, eventually developing plates with
scaly surfaces. "Volcanoes" or small surface pockets of pitch may be
Form: A medium to large tree with a small, open, pyramidal crown.
Shortleaf pine Pinaceae Pinus echinata
Slash pine Pinaceae Pinus
Leaf: Evergreen, 7 to 10 inches long, flexible, with three (sometimes two)
needles per fascicle, dark green in color. The fascicle sheath is quite long
Flower: Monoecious; males cylindrical, red to yellow, in clusters at ends
of twigs; females red to green, stalked, oval.
Fruit: Cones are 3 to 6 inches long, ovoid, borne on a stalk, caramel
colored. The umbo is armed with a small, out-curved spine. Maturing
October to November.
Twig: Quite stout, orange-brown in color.
Bark: Red-brown and furrowed when young, becoming very platy. The
surfaces of the plates are covered with thin, loose scales that flake off,
revealing a light brown to cinnamon color.
Form: A medium-sized tree with a narrow-ovoid crown. Needles appear
to be tufted at the ends of the branches.
Slash pine Pinaceae Pinus elliottii
Silver maple Aceraceae Acer
Leaf: Opposite, with 5 deeply palmate lobes, lobe margins serrate, 2 1/2
to 5 inches long; light green above, pale, silvery white below.
Flower: Greenish or reddish flowers appear in clusters from February to
May, long before leaves.
Fruit: Appears April to June, largest of any native maple, divergent wings
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, germinate as soon as released.
Twig: Similar to red maple, often more chestnut-brown in color,
unpleasant odor when crushed.
Bark: Similar to red maple, light gray when young, when older breaks up
into long thin strips, loose at ends.
Form: Trunk usually short, dividing into several subtrunks. Long slender
branches sweep downward and then curve gracefully upwards.
Silver maple Aceraceae Acer saccharinum
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined and evergreen, 5 to 8 inches
long, oval in shape with an entire margin. Very waxy/shiny above, and
reddish tomentose below. Flower: Very showy and fragrant, 6 to 8 inches
wide with large white petals. Flowers are borne singly, from May to June.
Fruit: An aggregate of follicles, green changing to red, cylindrical, 3 to 5
inches long with red seeds, 1/2 inch long. Maturing October to November.
Twig: Stout, with white to rusty tomentum and a long (1 to 1 1/2 inches)
silky white to rusty red terminal bud.
Bark: Brown to gray, thin, smooth/lenticellate when young, later with
close plates or scales.
Form: A medium-sized tree with a pyramidal crown. When open grown,
the crown is dense with low branches.
Southern magnolia Magnoliaceae Magnolia
Southern red oak
Fagaceae Quercus falcata
Leaf: Alternate, simple, 5 to 9 inches long and roughly obovate in outline.
Two forms are common: 3 lobes with shallow sinuses or 5 to 7 lobes with
deeper sinuses. Lobes are bristle-tipped. Tomentum is present below and
on the petiole. Often resembles a turkey foot.
Flower: Staminate flowers borne on catkins. Pistillate flowers borne on
spikes. Appears with the leaves.
Fruit: Acorns are 1/2 inch long, orange-brown and pubescent. The cap
covers less than 1/3 of the nut and is quite thin and flattened. Cap scales
are appressed and slightly pubescent. Matures after two years, ripens in
September or October.
Twig: Reddish-brown in color, may be gray-pubescent (particularly stump
sprouts) or glabrous. Multiple terminal buds are dark red, pubescent,
pointed and only 1/8 to 1/4 inch long. Laterals are similar, but shorter.
Bark: Dark in color, thick, with broad, scaly ridges separated by deep,
narrow furrows. Resembles Q. velutina, but the inner bark is only slightly
Form: A medium-sized tree with a short trunk and large branches
supporting a rounded crown.
Southern red oak Fagaceae Quercus falcata
Sugar maple Aceraceae
Leaf: Opposite, simple and palmately veined, 3 to 6 inches long, 5 lobed
with entire margin; green above, paler below.
Flower: Yellow to green, small, clustered, hanging from a long (1 to 3
inch) stem, appearing with the leaves.
Fruit: Two-winged horseshoe-shaped samaras about 1 inch long,
appearing in clusters, brown when mature in Autumn.
Twig: Brown, slender and shiny with lighter lenticels, terminal buds brown
and very sharp pointed.
Bark: Variable, but generally grayish brown,on older trees may be
furrowed, with long, thick irregular curling outward ridges.
Form: Medium to tall tree (to 100 feet) with very dense elliptical crown.
Sugar maple Aceraceae Acer saccharum
Leaf: Alternate, simple, palmately veined, orbicular, 4 to 6 inches across
with 5 to 7 lobes, and a finely serrate margin. Pubescent in the axils of the
Flower: Female borne on a slender stalk, capped with a globose head.
Male flowers borne on an upright raceme. Both are small, green in color
and not showy. Apparent March to May.
Fruit: Easy to identify "gumballs", woody brown spheres, 1 to 1 1/2
inches in diameter with openings in the surface that release 2 seeds from
each capsule. Maturing in September or November.
Twig: Medium textured, shiny green to yellow-brown, usually with
apparent corky outgrowths, particularly when fast growing. The terminal
bud is large and is usually sticky, covered with orange-brown scales.
Bark: Gray brown, irregular furrows and ridges.
Form: A medium to large tree with a straight stem and a pyramidal crown,
especially when young.
Sweetgum Hamamelidaceae Liquidambar
Leaf: Alternate, simple, palmately veined, 4 to 8 inches wide, ovate in
shape, with three to five lobes. Margins are toothed. Veins may be
pubescent below. Petiole bases encircle the buds. Flower: Not showy.
Male and female appearing March to April in separate spherical heads.
Fruit: A spherical multiple of achenes borne on a 3 to 6 inch stalk. Each
seed is tiny, winged, and 1/2 inch long. Maturing in November,
disseminating in late winter.
Twig: Obviously zigzag, quite stout and orange-brown in color. The leaf
scar surrounds the bud and the stipule scar surrounds the twig. The
terminal bud is absent. Lateral buds are reddish, resinous, with a single
Bark: Thin, mottled brown, green and white. Often referred to as
"camouflage" bark that readily exfoliates. Older stems are gray-brown and
Form: A very massive tree with heavy, spreading branches with obviously
zigzag twigs. In winter, the fruits resemble Christmas tree ornaments.
American sycamore Platanaceae Platanus
Virginia pine Pinaceae Pinus
Leaf: Evergreen, 1 1/2 to 3 inches long, with 2 yellow-green, twisted,
somewhat divergent needles per fascicle.
Flower: Monoecious; males cylindrical, yellow, near branch tip; females
yellow to red, curved prickle present.
Fruit: Cones are 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, sessile and persistent, conical
or ovoid in shape, with red-brown scales and an umbo armed with a
needle-like prickle. Maturing September to November.
Twig: Slender, green changing to purple-green with a glaucous bloom.
Bark: Orange to brown on young stems, becoming scaly. Old stems are
red-brown in color, with small, scale covered plates. Cinnamon colored
patches often on upper parts of trunk.
Form: A small to medium-sized tree, usually of somewhat poor form.
Eventually develops a flat top. Dead branches self-prune poorly.
Virginia pine Pinaceae Pinus virginiana
White ash Oleaceae Fraxinus
Leaf: Opposite, pinnately compound with 7 serrate to entire leaflets that
are ovate to somewhat lanceolate, 8 to 12 inches long and, essentially
hairless. Flower: Dioecious, both sexes lacking petals, occuring as
panicles. Flowers appear before or with the leaves.
Fruit: A one-winged, dry, flattened samara with a full, rounded, seed
cavity, maturing October to November and dispersing over winter.
Twig: Stout, gray-olive-green in color, and hairless. Leaf scars round at
the bottom, notched at the top, with lateral buds in the notch. Terminal
bud is large, brown, and flanked by two lateral buds.
Bark: Ashy gray to brown in color, with interlacing corky ridges forming
obvious diamonds. Older trees may be scaly.
Form: A large tree that may develop a straight, clear bole on good sites
with a thin, usually narrow crown.
White ash Oleaceae Fraxinus americana
White oak Fagaceae
Leaf: Alternate, simple, oblong to ovate in shape, pinnately veined with
an evenly lobed margin, 4 to 7 inches long. The apex is rounded and the
base is wedge-shaped. Leaves are hairless, bright green above and
whitish below. Flower: Male flowers are green, borne in naked catkins, 2
to 4 inches long. Female flowers are reddish and appear as single spikes.
Appearing with the leaves.
Fruit: Ovoid, but may be oblong, with a warty cap that covers 1/4 of the
fruit. The cap always detaches at maturity. Matures in one year, ripens
120 days after pollination (July to September).
Twig: Red-brown to somewhat gray, hairless, with red-brown multiple
terminal buds that are small, rounded and hairless. Twigs are often shiny
or somewhat glaucous.
Bark: Whitish or ashy gray, varying from scaly to irregularly platy or
blocky. On older trees smooth patches are not uncommon.
Form: A large tree; when open grown, white oaks have rugged, irregular
crowns that are wide spreading, with a stocky bole. In the forest crowns
are upright and oval.
White oak Fagaceae Quercus alba
Water oak Fagaceae Quercus
Leaf: Alternate, simple 2 to 4 inches long and extremely variable in shape
(from spatulate to lanceolate). May be 0 to 5 lobed. Margins may be entire
or bristle-tipped. Both surfaces are glabrous, but axillary tufts may be
Flower: Staminate flowers borne on catkins. Pistillate flowers borne on
spikes. Appearing with the leaves.
Fruit: Acorns are 1/2 inch long, very dark in color, and 1/3 covered by a
flattened cap with appressed scales. Maturing in September of the
Twig: Slender, red-brown in color, with short, sharp-pointed, angular, red-
brown buds that are multiple at the tip.
Bark: Dark and quite tight, smooth when young and later with irregular
rough patches. Much later developing wide, scaly ridges.
Form: A medium-sized tree with a slender bole and rounded crown with
Water oak Fagaceae Quercus nigra
Water tupelo Nyssaceae
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, 4 to 8 inches long, oblong to
obovate, entire margin but may have a few large teeth.
Flower: Small, greenish white, usually in hanging clusters, appearing with
Fruit: A reddish purple drupe, 1 inch long and tear shaped, flesh
surrounds a deeply grooved pit.
Twig: Stout, yellow brown to red brown, large heart shaped leaf scar,
buds small, pith diaphragmed, spur shoots common.
Bark: Brownish gray, scaly ridges or even blocky (somewhat variable).
Form: Large tree to 100 feet, several feet in diameter, clear trunk which is
typically swolen at base, roots often grow out of soil.
Water tupelo Nyssaceae Nyssa aquatica
Leaf: Alternate, simple, palmately veined, orbicular, 4-lobed with an entire
margin, 4 to 8 inches long. Somewhat shaped like a tulip. Flower: Showy,
but high in the tree, 2 1/2 inches long, with yellow-green petals and an
orange corolla. Present April to June.
Fruit: An oblong aggregate of samaras, deciduous at maturity. Each
samara is 1-winged, 1 1/2 inches long, and 4-angled. Maturing August to
Twig: Red-brown in color, often with a shiny appearance or a waxy
bloom. Stipules are large and encircle the twig. Buds are elongated and
valvate, resembling a "duck bill". Twigs have a sweet, spicy odor when
Bark: Light gray-green in color, often with white in grooves or in patches.
Smooth when young, developing flat-topped ridges and furrows in
diamond shaped patterns. On older trees sapsucker holes are common.
Form: In a stand, this tree is very straight with a limb-free bowl. Open-
grown trees have a pyramidal crown when young, becoming oval in
Yellow-poplar Magnoliaceae Liriodendron