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Thread: Winter tree ID practice.

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    Default Winter tree ID practice.

    Winter tree ID practice.

    I find tree ID much harder during the winter months without leaves, nuts, fruits etc to help. Other trees like conifers are mostly the same during winter. So here are some I tracked down a few weeks ago during an overnight outing/hike. Naturally being no expert on all things tree my ID and methodology could be off. Not sure if practice makes perfect in my case but it doesnít hurt.

    1. Maple.



    Winter clues:

    The bark does look like maple, maybe Swamp maple in this case. Also there is a blight or something on the bark which seems to be a maple issue within the area. Not 100% certain but thatís my best guess.

    2. Northern Red Oak.



    Winter clues:

    The bark looks oakish and there are some branches with oak leaves still attached about the tree from late fall storms. Some oaks within my area will hold their leaves into winter. Like the maple I am not 100% sure.

    3. Iron wood, Muscle wood, Blue beech and maybe a few other common names.



    Winter clues:

    The bark, size of the tree and shape of the trunk makes it distinctive no matter the season.

    4. Black birch.



    Winter clues:

    The bark is well known to me. Someone could break off the ends of a branch and smell the Sweet birch which is another common name for the same tree.

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    5. Hemlock.







    Winter clues:

    The needles, bark and cones are all clues that didnít change much with the season.

    6. Yellow Birch.



    Winter clues:

    I use the bark for tinder. It works just like White birch which wasnít to be found during this outing. Also it tends to grow not that far from water but thatís no always the case. The bark and location locked in the ID.

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    7. American Beech.





    Winter clues:

    The smooth bark and late season leaf retention by the smaller specimens.

    8. Tulip poplar.



    Winter clues:

    Poplar bark stands out. The trees often grow tall and straight.

    9. Eastern Red cedar.



    Winter clues.

    This one was dead but if alive it would have green needles. Also being dead is a clue because sometimes theyíre found in dead overgrown stands. Cedar are some of the first trees to reforest a field but nothing is forever. Once taller trees overgrow them it is game over. The bark is used for tinder, therefore is another clue. If I cut into the tree there should be some reddish wood inside.
    Last edited by Woods Walker; 01-20-2013 at 02:47 AM.

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    10. Eastern White pine.





    Winter clues:

    The bark and conifer needles are unchanged for winter. I didnít notice any cones.

    11. Mockernut/Pignut hickory.





    Winter clues.

    To be honest I am not 100% sure on this one. It could be Mockernut, Pignut and even has a bit of a Shaggy look. The bark seems like hickory. The snow cover is hiding any husks from the past season but then again some years they donít produce nuts. Oh well my best guess is Mockernut or Pignut hickory.
    Last edited by Woods Walker; 01-20-2013 at 02:44 AM.

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    Winter tree ID bonus round. Name that punkwood.

    I found this punkwood for the purpose of charring during my outing but what tree was it? There was no bark with only 1/3rd of the tree standing.



    Winter clues:

    There was long dead hoof fungus still attached to the upper areas. This fungus commonly grows on American beech. I found multiple beech trees all around. Once again this is a guess based on the clues.



    Identifying trees during winter can be challenging but fun. Sometimes despite using all the clues mistakes will happen, heck there could be a few here. LOL! Next time youíre out in the woods during winter give this a go. Thanks for looking.

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    This is a great tutorial thanks! I have a hard time IDing some trees in the winter.
    There are no "failures", Just learning experiences.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clanmaki View Post
    This is a great tutorial thanks! I have a hard time IDing some trees in the winter.
    Me too. Some of those IDs fall deep into the best guess category.

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    Nice stuff, man.
    We have it easier here, we don't get much snow so one of the best ways around here to i.d. a tree in the winter is to look on the ground. You find clues there like, leaves, nuts, samara, seeds etc. That is if the bark doesn't tell you.
    I've got a key to Missouri trees in winter but I never could get myself to take the time to look at bud scars and all that stuff. I probably should some day.
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    IDing using the buds can be very helpful during the winter, but its tricky. I recommend practicing bud ID when the leaves are still on the trees for reference.

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    Very cool! I enjoyed that a lot. Thanks!
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