Everyone enjoys the opportunity of being able to identify Kentucky trees by their leaves. Because there are so many trees (some 50 or more commercially important trees alone in Kentucky) it takes a process of elimination to deduct which tree you are investigating.

There is a “road map” to identifying Kentucky’s trees. The general name for this “map” is a dichotomous key, a key that will ask two questions at a time and will then move you forward to another set of questions. Each set of questions gradually moves you closer to the goal of identifying the tree you are examining.

To begin the identification process you must find the bud.  If  you are dealing with a broadleaved tree, trees that lose their leaves in the fall, find the bud that is on the main stem of the branch. This bud is next year’s growth of leaves, flowers and elongation but is now your first clue in attempting to identify the tree in question. View the videos for more information.