Understanding Types of Trees

Understanding Types of Trees

Before you add trees to your yard, you should get to know the different tree types. If you already have trees, then you want to understand how to care for them properly. You want to choose the right trees to give you some shade or add privacy to your yard. Other trees can provide shelter for wildlife or give your yard that added boost of color. With a few tips, you can understand the different types of trees and choose the right ones for your landscape.

Two Types of Trees

Trees are grouped into two categories: coniferous and deciduous. You can tell the difference between the trees with a few simple clues. Deciduous trees are also known as hardwoods, and they will drop their leaves in the fall. For the most part, deciduous trees have shaped leaves, such as ovals, stars, or hearts. Willows, elms, oaks, and maples are the most common types of deciduous trees.

Coniferous is the second group of trees. Many of these trees are evergreens, and you can count on them to stay green throughout the year. Coniferous trees contain needle-shaped leaves. Firs, pines, spruces, and cedars are part of the coniferous tree family.

By knowing the different types of trees, you can plan the right landscape for your home or business. Many landscapers consider trees to be the base of your yard design. You don’t have to stick with one type of tree either. Your landscape can mix it up with coniferous and deciduous trees.

Specific Benefits of These Trees

Trees can be beneficial for your yard. If you are looking for shade, then you might want to think about choosing a deciduous tree. These species will provide shade in the summer, but they still allow sunlight to filter through the branches in the winter. Birches and maples have exfoliating bark that will add some color to your yard in the winter. Maples are an excellent choice for those homeowners that want a vibrant color in the fall. Some of these trees are nut or fruit-bearing, and you can harvest them at certain times of the year.

Coniferous trees also have benefits. Evergreens provide shade in the summer, and they can block some of those harsh winter winds. For those wanting year-round privacy, coniferous trees are an excellent choice. They can fill in those spaces throughout your yard as these species mature and grow. Finally, birds love to make their homes in evergreens, especially in the wintertime.

Identify Pre-Existing Trees

If you already have trees in your yard, you might need to identify them. Many people will identify trees by the leaves. There are three basic types of leaves: broadleaves, scales, and needles. If your tree has needles or scales, then it is more likely to be a coniferous tree. Many broadleaf trees are deciduous, and they will drop leaves in the fall. There are some exceptions to the rule. For example, larches have needles that will change color and drop off the tree in autumn. Leaf shapes can also help you to identify your trees. Many trees have lanceolate (long and narrow), ovate (egg-shaped), orbicular (round), deltoid (triangular), or cordate (heart-shaped) leaves. Some of the most recognizable leaf shapes are the lobed oak leaf and the palm-shaped maple leaf.

All trees have bark, and you can tell the type of species by looking at it. Many tree species have gray bark, but there are some with cinnamon, silver, white, or copper colors. You might want to look at the texture of the bark too. There are some variations of bark between tree species. Bark can be peeling, smooth, shiny, scaly, warty, or furrowed. In addition to that, you can even tell the age of the tree by studying the bark. As the tree matures, the texture and color of the bark will change. You can find signs of its age from the trunk. For example, young silver maples will have a silver and smooth bark, and mature maples feature a more gray and furrowed appearance.

The shape of the tree can give you a clue about the type of tree. There are some trees with distinctive shapes. American elms have a vase-like appearance, and sweet gums are more pyramid-shaped. However, the environment can cause the tree to change into an irregular or rounded shape. This method might not be the best way to identify trees in your yard. When examining a tree’s shape, you need to consider several factors for its particular shape and size.

If your tree has flowers, you might be able to identify it. There are many classes of flowering trees, like magnolias and crabapples. You should take a close look at the color of the flowers. However, this might not work in some cases. Plant breeders have developed several colors for one species of tree. One fail-safe way to identify a tree is by looking at the shape and appearance of the flowers. Clustered blooms, single blooms, and catkins can assist you in identifying a type of tree. Many of these flowering trees will bloom in the spring or summer. When that happens, you can eliminate some tree species as you try to identify those in your yard.

Finally, if you have a fruit tree, you can easily identify it by the fruit. Fruit trees create more than large fleshy fruits, like pears and apples. There are other types of trees with seeds, such as willow catkins, oak acorns, hawthorn berries, and chestnut tree nuts. All these signs can help you to pinpoint the tree species in your yard.

If you still don’t know the types of trees in your yard, you might want to call in the professionals at Charlestown Landscaping. Our team can help you identify the species of trees or choose the right varieties for your yard. We can help you find the best trees that can meet your specific needs for your home or business.

For more information about trees and landscaping, please take a few minutes to fill out the contact form.

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