Summer is the best time to admire trees and to get to grips with their identification. You have a host of clues to help you work out which is which, from fully formed leaves to flowers or ripening fruits. 

The UK has at least fifty species of native trees and shrubs and many more species of introduced non-natives. But how well do you know them? Test your knowledge with our quiz. It's packed with tips to make identification easy. 

Top tree identification tips

Here are a few features that give you clues.

  • Leaves or needles? Is it a broadleaf (usually deciduous) or is it a conifer (usually with needles or scales)?
  • Look out for seasonal features. In winter, broadleaf trees have no leaves, but you can still use the twigs, leaf buds and bark.
  • Where does it grow? Take notice of the surrounding area. Is it growing within a hedgerow, in the middle of a field, in parkland, in a wood or close to water?
  • Piece the clues together, including the overall shape and size of the tree, bark, leaves or needles, flowers, fruits, leaf buds and twigs. The more features you can see, the more accurate your identification will be.

Trees woods and wildlife

How to identify trees

All trees have clues and features that can help with identification. You just need to know what to look out for with our quick guide.

Our top tips

Or skip the ID books and jump straight to our tree ID app.

In just a few steps you can identify native and common non-native trees in the UK whatever the season.


Woodland Trust tree identification app with mobile phone

Identify British trees with our free app

Get an A-Z guide of trees by downloading our free tree ID app for Android and iOS.

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Explore British trees in detail