More tree identification guides

We have developed an identification key specifically for this survey. There are many different guides and identification keys you could also use. You can use the links on this page or the books referenced here to help you make accurate identifications.

Online interactive keys

Many of these helpful keys also have versions you can print out and take with you.

Key to common UK street trees: KeytoNature

This key includes the most common trees. In many cases they are identified to a group, such as oaks - in other cases they are identified into species, such as evergreen oak.

KeyToNature: key to common UK street trees
Dryades: KeyToNature

An interactive key to all tree and shrub species of the UK (more than 400 species). A version is also available for PDAs and smartphones with an internet connection. Produced by Pier Luigi Nimis and Stefano Martellos (University of Trieste, Italy) and Bob Press (Natural History Museum) as part of the KeyToNature project. Suitable for: students 16+ (assumes knowledge of some botanical terms), enthusiasts, specialists.

Dryades: KeyToNature guide to trees and shrubs in the UK
Science and Plants for Schools

Interactive key to 95 species by Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS), part of the University of Cambridge. Suitable for: Key stage 4 (KS4) students (some guidance may be necessary), students 16+, adults.

Science and Plants for Schools: key to British trees and shrubs
Forestry Commission

Interactive key to 26 tree species, produced by the Forestry Commission. Suitable for: KS4 students (some guidance may be necessary), students 16+, adults.

Forestry Commission: tree name trail

Books

These are useful to take out on a survey if you have them.

Trees of Britain and Europe (Collins Wildlife Trust Guides) by Keith D. Rushforth

A field guide covering 800 species of tree. A collection of photographs helps readers identify trees in every season, and descriptive text to help differentiate one similar-looking species from another.

ISBN: 978 0 002 20013 4

Photographic Guide to the Trees of Britain and Europe

The latest published version is by Bob Press and David Hosking. A photographic guide to all native and naturalised trees of Europe. Descriptions and a key are provided to aid identification.

ISBN: 978 1 845 17187 2

New Flora of the British Isles by Clive Stace

A complete guide to all plants of the British Isles found in the wild. Gives keys and brief descriptions to enable identification. Suitable for: adults; professional but suitable for those with some experience.

ISBN: 978 0 521 70772 5

Green Guide to Trees of Britain and Europe by J R Press (author), Colin Emberson (illustrator)

A small and lightweight guide that can easily be taken out in the field. Each tree is described in detail with information on height, shape and important features such as foliage and fruit. Includes step-by-step identification keys. Suitable for: general audience.

ISBN: 978 1 859 74927 2

Buy Trees of Britain and Europe online

Leaf chart downloads

These charts are easy to use but only tend to cover a few species.

OPAL

A PDF download showing photos of leaf shapes and buds of nine common species or groups (sycamore, oak, ash, cherry, beech, rowan, lime, birch, horse chestnut) produced to accompany the Open Air Laboratories’ lichen survey. Suitable for: all ages.

OPAL guide to nine common UK tree species (PDF, 2.8MB)
Woodland Trust

A PDF download showing leaf shapes of 13 common UK species or groups (alder, ash, beech, birch, elder, field maple, hawthorn, hazel, holly, horse chestnut, oak, rowan, sycamore). Suitable for: all ages.

Woodland Trust leaf hunt