The Arbor Day Foundation’s What Tree Is That?: A Guide to the More Common Trees Found in North America, is a well-illustrated book that’ll let you identify pretty much any tree in the U.S. through the process of elimination. First, you’ll determine the leaf shape (right), which’ll direct you to a new page that asks more specific questions about the leaves, fruits, twigs, and branches of the tree until you finally figure out what exact species your new green friend is.
Have a good idea what the tree is and just want to verify your guess? Flip to the index in the back to crosscheck the tree you see to the hand drawn diagram of the tree’s features in the book. Curious if a tree’s an invasive species? Turn to the pages devoted to identifying those. The back flap of What Tree Is That? also handily doubles as a ruler, so you can quickly measure leaves or buds to help you with identification.
You don’t have to buy the book to take advantage of The Arbor Day Foundation’s tree identification guide. Those with photographic memories can just remember all the details of the tree, then put it through the web guide once they get back near a computer. And those with hi-tech cell phones and great reception can use What Tree Is That? Mobile.
Otherwise, the book’ll be most handy. The $14.95 book comes out April 1; you can pre-order it on Amazon now.
Images: Courtesy arborday.org