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321 Views 1 Reply Last post: Jul 5, 2013 7:14 AM by MikeHardman RSS
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Jun 24, 2013 9:49 PM

Tree identification guide?

Anyone know how to identify a tree through its fallen branches? I see many guides showing how to ID from leaves and bark, but nothing yet from tree branches. Any help or a point in the right direction would be greatly appreciated!

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    Jul 5, 2013 7:14 AM (in response to Bar)
    Re: Tree identification guide?

    It depends how accurately you want to make the ID.

     

    In most cases, you will not succeed in getting down to species, apart from some cases where the leaves and/or fruit remain attached or are available on the ground adjacent to the branch. For instance, holly, or immature beech (the leaves naturally remain attached). Such IDs also assume you know the list of likely species in the area. With the holly, for instance, if it was in the natural countryside, you could assume it was Ilex aquifolium; but if it was in a park or garden, or in another country, you could not.

     

    There's also the question of how long ago the branch fell or was cut off. Evidence degrades; after a few decades, it would be harder to make an ID.

     

    Some evidence persists better than other. For instance, you would be able to rule out some names from the arrangement of leaf scars (alternate or opposite). If alternate, for instance, it would not be a maple.

     

    If you are prepared to make cut and polished sections of the timber, that could also reveal useful pointers, such as medullar rays.

     

    And DNA analysis would take you further. But you probably don't have access to a CSI lab!

     

    Mike

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