Tree & Shrub Identification
The tree and shrub identification site has been designed for students, volunteers, and tree enthusiasts to guide your exploration of trees and shrubs. Care has been taken to create accurate descriptions of the general characteristics of woody plants. However, nature is wondrous in its variety and characteristics can (and do) vary. Colors, sizes, etc. can be subjective based on an observer’s background and experience. Use of botanical terminology has been limited; however, some terminology was unavoidable. The statistician George Box once said, "...all models are wrong, some are useful" and the same thing is true in plant identification guides, they are all wrong in their description of plants, but some are useful. We hope this is a useful and enjoyable site to help in the identification trees and shrubs you encounter.
All photographs were taken over several years to illustrate various plant features (i.e. flowers, fruits, etc.). Many of the photos for a given species were taken of a single tree and as such they are only representations of what you might expect to see. The photographs are intended to represent the “typical” form of a species...nature can produce amazing variety. Pay attention to the similarities within a genus. Being able to narrow down a plant to a genus (e.g. oak, maple, pine, etc.) reduces the number of possible species you may have encountered. We are continuing to add species. Let us know if find mistakes, have questions, or suggestions on improving the site.