Definitions of Special Terms for Identification

Leaf Type

Needle - long and pointed needles
Broad Leaf - wider broad leaf


Leaf Composition

Simple Leaf - leaves have one leaflet simple leaf
Compound Leaf - leaves have several individual leaflets compound leaf
Palmately Compound - leaves have several individual leaflets in a star shape palmately compound leaf
Pinnately Compound - leaves have several individual leaflets on a stem pinnately compound leaf
Doubly Pinately Compound - leaflets are pinately compound doubly pinately compound leaf


Leaf Arrangement

Alternate Leaves - Leaves emerge from the twig kitty-corner from each other alternate
Opposite Leaves - Leaves emerge from the twig across from each other opposite


Leaf Border

Leaf Margin Smooth - border has no teeth or lobessmooth margin
Leaf Margin Lobed - border has "ins and outs"lobed margin
Leaf Margin Toothed - border is jagged toothed margin
Leaf Margin Doubly Toothed - the teeth have teeth on them doubly toothed margin
Leaf Margin Lobed and Toothed - the lobes have teeth lobed and toothed margin


Leaf Veins

Palmate Leaf Veins - lines all come togetherpalmate leaf veins
Pinnate Leaf Veins - lines come to a central linepinnate leaf veins
Parallel Leaf Veins - lines are next to each otherparallel leaf veins



Lobe Sinuses Sharp - 'V' shaped valleyssharp lobes
Lobe Sinuses Rounded "U shaped valleysrounded lobes



Single Samaras - small winged seeds single samaras
Double Samaras double samaras



Twig Cross-Section twig cross section
Twig and Buds twig and buds


Identify a Tree

This key was developed by "bt" in June 1982. It was put into HTML format by Stephen Ostermiller in July 1997. Copies of the entire guide in zip format that may be taken to camp on a laptop are available to those who write.