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How Do I Know What Type of Tree is in my Yard?

species of trees

If you’ve found yourself wondering what types of trees you’ve got on your property, there are a few specific things you can examine in order to determine a tree’s species. Luckily, you don’t need any special tools or education to identify what kinds of trees you’ve got growing right in your own back yard.


Look no farther than the leaves hanging from the branches of the tree in question. Leaves reveal quite a bit about the species of tree. Trees produce 3 leaf types: broadleaf, needles, and scales. If the tree boasts needles or scales like a Christmas tree, then you’ve got a type of evergreen; however, if the tree’s leaves flutter and float in the wind and drop off the branches in the fall, then you have a deciduous broadleaf species. Note the shape of the leaves to help narrow down the possibilities. Leaf shapes include heart shaped, round, oval, and triangular, to name a few, and studying this feature can help you eliminate the majority of possible tree species.


Looking at the bark of the trees in question can also shed some light on determining the species. Bark color and texture vary from species to species. Some trees have brown bark, while others have white, or lighter colored bark. Certain trees boast a more reddish brown bark, and then there are some trees that have a mix of colors in their bark. The color of a tree’s bark can change based on the age of the tree as well.

The texture of bark is also an indicator of species. Some trees have bark that is smooth and may even appear to be peeling. Conversely, many trees have bark with deep grooves and rough bumps.


Another great clue to tree species is the seeds, fruit, or flowers that are produced. Flowering trees like the Flowering Cherry, Magnolia, Dogwood, Crabapple, and many others produce distinct flowers that reveal their species. If your tree doesn’t produce visible flowers, it likely produces some sort of seed or “fruit,” but you may have to look a little more closely to see it. “Helicopters,” berries, catkins, chestnuts, acorns, and buckeyes are all seeds produced by trees in our region. The shape and size of these seeds can provide additional insight. For instance, depending on the type, oak trees, which are common trees in Pittsburgh, produce several different sizes and shapes of acorns. Knowing as much as possible about the seeds will help you get the answer you’re looking for.

Get Help from a Local Tree Company

There are many types of trees in our region, and you may have a few different species right on your property. It’s good to know what trees you have in order to properly maintain and protect them. If you have questions about your trees, let the trained professionals at Horhut Tree Experts assist you. Our certified arborists are educated and trained to care for and maintain the trees that grow here in the Pittsburgh region, and we look forward to sharing our knowledge with you!

Jaime Horhut