North Woods Field Guides PO Box 107  Wevertown

Deciduous Trees of the North Woods

Balsam Poplar~ Basswood~ Beech~ Black Ash~ Black Cherry~ Crab Apple~ Choke Cherry~ Gray Birch~ White Birch~ Yellow Birch~ Hop-Hornbeam~ Sugar Maple    Red Maple~ Striped Maple~ Mountain Ash~ Red Oak~ White Oak~ Shagbark Hickory~ Staghorn Sumac~ Quaking Aspen~ Bigtooth Aspen~ White Ash~ Black Willow  

Key To Definitions       

Simple leaf One single leaf blade joined by it's leaf stalk to the twig or branch.
Leaflet One of several leaves of a compound leaf.
Compound Leaf A leaf consisting of several leaflets.
Alternate Leaf Leaves spaced singularly along a twig, randomly and not directly opposite of each other. Leaves may be alternate and compound.
Opposite Leaf Leaves that are in opposing pairs on the twig. Leaves may be opposite and compound.
Margin The outer edge (perimeter) of a leaf.
Catkin A fuzzy caterpillar shaped cluster of flowers or fruit usually drooping from the twig.
Samaras Winged paired seeds, found in maple trees and resemble a helicopter when falling from the tree.
Lenticels An oblong or circular spot on the bark.
Fissures Shallow or deep grooves in bark.
Deciduous Trees which shed their leaves each year.

Balsam Poplar 

Height Up to 80 feet.
Leaf

Oval in shape up to 6 inches long, finely toothed margin. Dark green in color on top with a whitish/orangish brown color beneath. Tip of leaf is sharply pointed. Buds give off a Balsam aroma.

Fruit Two-valved capsule containing hairy seeds.
Bark Young trees have a smooth light reddish/brown color, mature trees are dark gray rough with narrow fissures and broad scaly ridges. 
Fall Leaves brown to yellow in color.

    Back to Top

Basswood   

Height Up to 80 feet tall.
Leaf Alternate, very broad with a finely toothed margin up to 6 inches in length. Leaf resembles a lopsided heart.
Fruit Pea sized fruits singly or in groups.
Bark Brown/gray with deep vertical fissures and flat ridges.
Fall Leaves yellow in color. 

    Back to Top

Beech

Height Up to 80 feet tall.
Leaf 4 to 5 inches long, oval in shape with sharp coarsely toothed margin. Dull    green bove and paler below in color. 
Fruit Beech nuts, triangular shaped nuts encased in a spiny husk.
Bark Smooth with a slate gray color.
  Fall Leaves copper in color.

   Back to Top

Black Ash   

Height Up to 40 feet tall.
Leaf 10 to 16 inches long, compound with 7 to 11 stalkless, opposite leaflets. Each leaflet being 3 to 5 inches long with a fine toothed margin. Dark green above in color and paler beneath.
Bark Gray to black in color with shallow fissures, and very scaly vertical ridges.
Fruit Samaras with a distinct notch in the end, wing runs completely around the seed.
Fall Leaves yellow in color.

    Back to Top

Black Cherry

Height Up to 60 feet tall.
Leaf Leaves are alternate, tapered and 6 to inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide.  Dark shiny green above and paler below with a finely toothed margin. Orangish hair on the midrib on the underside of the leaf.
Fruit 1/4 to 1/2 inch berries clustered on branch, dark red in color turning     dark purple to black when ripe.
Bark Black in color with large scales turning out from the tree. Orange in color where the scales reveal the under bark of the tree.
Fall Leaves yellow in color.

  Back to Top

Crab Apple

Height Up to 25 feet tall
Leaf Leaves are oval in shape, alternate, coarsely toothed, dark green on top and paler below. Leaves are 3 to 4 inches long. 
Fruit bitter 1 1/2 to 2 inch in diameter apple.
Bark Reddish/brown, shallow fissures with broad flat topped scaly ridges.
Fall Leaves yellow in color

   Back to Top

Choke Cherry

Height Up to 25 feet tall
Leaf Leaves alternate, oval in shape 2 to 4 inches long and pointed with a finely toothed margin. Bright green above and paler below. Leaf is widest above it's midpoint.
  Fruit 1/4 to 1/2 inch diameter berries growing in clusters. Ripen in July, August turning dark red to nearly black.
Bark Somewhat smooth to grayish/brown to black in color. Bark marked by shallow lenticels.
Fall  Leaves red in color.

Back to Top

Gray Birch   

Height Up to 30 feet tall.
Leaf Alternate, triangular in shape 2 to 3 inches long, sharply toothed margin. Dark green above and paler below.
Fruit Winged nutlet encased in a drooping cone like structure 1 inch long.
  Bark Chalky white in color, does not peel from the tree as White Birch does. Black triangular scars where the branches leave the trunk of the tree.
Fall Leaves yellow in color.

Back to Top

Yellow Birch

Height Up to 80 feet tall.
Leaf Alternate, 3 to 5 inches long with a coarsely double toothed margin. Oval in shape. Dark green in color above with a pale yellow/green below.
Fruit Winged nutlet that is encased in an erect cone like structure 1 to 1 1/2  inches long. 
Bark Pale yellow to golden yellow/brown in color, peeling away in horizontal strips from the tree. Wintergreen odor present unlike Gray and White Birch.
Fall Leaves yellow in color.

Back to Top

White (Paper) Birch

Height Up to 80 feet tall.
Leaf Alternate, 2 to 3 inches long, coarsely double toothed on margin. Oval in shape, dark green above and paler below.
Fruit Winged nutlet that is encased in a drooping cone like structure 1 to 1/2 inches long.
  Bark Chalky white in color, peeling off in thin horizontal strips from the tree. Yellowish color on inner side of peeled off bark.
Fall Leaves yellow in color.

Back to Top

Hop-Hornbeam

Height Up to 40 feet tall.
Leaf Alternate to 5 inches long, yellow/green above paler below. Sharp double toothed margin.
Fruit Small flat nutlet encased in a hop like bladder.
Bark Brown/gray with and shreddy in appearance, peeling away from tree.
Fall Leaves yellow in color.

Back to Top

Sugar Maple

Height Up to 100 feet tall.
 Leaf Bright green above  paler below up to 5 1/2 inches long. Leaves are opposite with five pointed lobes and a smooth margin.
Fruit Clusters of samaras.
Bark Gray in color with somewhat smooth bark to rough with vertical ridges in older trees.
Fall Leaves vary in color from red, orange to yellow.

Back to Top

Striped Maple

Height Up to 25 feet tall.
Leaf Opposite, very broad up to five or more inches long and as wide. Three lobed with a sharply toothed margin. Bright green above with a very pale almost whitish appearance below.
Fruit Clusters of winged samaras turning reddish/brown in summer.
Bark Smooth bright green in color with vertical white stripes.
Fall Leaves a very pale yellow to tan color.

Back to Top

Red Maple

Height Up to 70 feet tall.
Leaf Opposite, up to 6 inches long, five lobed with a coarsely toothed margin. Leaves are green above with a very light green to whitish color below.
Fruit Clusters of samaras reddish brown in color.
Bark Dark gray in color with shallow fissures and long broad ridges. Rougher than a Sugar Maples.
Fall Leaves deep red in color.

Back to Top

Mountain Ash

Height Up to 30 feet tall.
Leaf Leaves alternate, compound 6 to 8 inches long with 13 to 17 oblong finely toothed paired leaflets measuring 2 to 3 inches long. Bright green above and paler below.
Fruit Clusters of dark red berries 1/4 inch in diameter.
Bark Smooth becoming rough with age, reddish brown to grayish brown.
Fall Leaves orange to yellow in color.

    Back to Top

Red Oak

Height Up to 80 feet tall.
Leaf Alternate, 5 to 8 inches long with 8 to 9 pointed 3 tipped lobes with a smooth margin. Dull green in color with a reddish midrib
Fruit Acorns held in a finely scaled cup.
Bark Dark brown in color with fissures and broad flat ridges.
Fall Leaves copper colored.

  Back to Top

White Oak  

Height Up to 90 feet tall.
Leaf Alternate, 5 to 9 inches long with 7 to 9 rounded smooth margin lobes. Bright green in color and paler below.
Fruit Acorns held in a rough cup.
Bark Gray with long shallow  irregular fissures.
Fall Leaves copper colored to brown.

    Back to Top

Shagbark Hickory

Height Up to 80 feet tall.
Leaf Compound, 10 to 14 inches long with 5 elliptical fine tooth leaflets 4 to 5 inches long. Lower two leaves much smaller than the top three.
Fruit White nut encased in a thick dark brown husk.
Bark Rough brown/gray and shaggy curling away from trunk.
Fall Leaves yellow in color.

Back to Top

Staghorn Sumac

Height Up to 20 feet tall.
Leaf Alternate up to 2 feet long with 11 to 31 paired sharply toothed leaflets up to 5 inches long. Dark green above and paler below.
Fruit Conical shaped hairy clusters of red berries pointing upright.
Bark Dark gray and smooth with lenticels present.
Fall Leaves are red and yellow in fall.

  Back to Top

Quaking Aspen

Height Up to 60 feet tall.
Leaf Alternate oval in shape 2 inches long, pointed with finely toothed margin. Shiny green above, paler below.  Leave stalk long and flat.
Fruit Two-valved, oblong cylinder containing seeds with white fluffy hairs.
Bark Light gray/silver when young. Gray with deep fissures and flat ridges in older trees.
Fall Leaves are brilliant yellow color in fall.

   Back to Top

Bigtooth Aspen

Height Up to 60 feet tall.
Leaf Alternate, large toothed margin up to 4 inches long twice the size of of Quaking Aspen. Dark green above, paler below. 
Fruit Two-valved, oblong cylinder containing seeds with white fluffy hairs.
Bark Dark brownish/black with deep fissures and flat ridges.
Fall Leaves are yellow in color.

Back to Top

White Ash

Height Up to 80 feet tall.
Leaf Opposite, compound 8 to 15 inches long with 5 to 11 leaflets up to 5 inches long. Oblong in shape with finely toothed margin. Dark green above to paler below.
Fruit Samaras 1 to 2 inches long.
Bark Grayish/brown in color, deep fissures with flat checked ridges.
Fall Leaves are yellow to purple in fall.

 Back to Top

Black Willow

Height Up to 40 feet tall.
Leaf Alternate, up to 5 inches long, thin to 1 inch wide and oblong with pointed tip and finely toothed margin.  Bright green above and paler below.
Fruit Smooth capsules approximately 1 inch long containing minute seeds.
Bark Brown/black with fissures and broad flat scaly ridges.
Fall Leaves yellow in color.

 

North Woods Field Guides PO Box 107  Wevertown


North Woods Field Guides
PO Box 107  Wevertown, NY 12886
Phone:  518-744-6011  Email: northwoodsent@aol.com

Copyright J. Greco / North Woods Guides Inc.  All rights reserved.