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Common Local Trees & Their Leaves

Learn to identify trees by looking at their leaves. 
How to use this guide.
There are 5 categories of leaves:  4 for decidous trees, 1 for evergreens. Click the photos.
When you're ready
Name That Leaf
 Simple smooth-edged leaves


A single leaf attaches to a twig or branch. No saw teeth around the edge. 

Example: Dogwood 

Click the photo

 Simple toothed leaves


Single leaf with saw teeth around the edge. 

Example: Mulberry 


Click the photo
 Lobed simple leaves


Single leaves with lobes.
Lobes look somewhat like a hand with fingers. 

Example: Sassafras 


Click the photo
 Compound Leaves


Compound leaves have more than one leaflet.
Leaflets are attached to the same leaf stalk. 

Example: Black Walnut 

Click the photo

Black Walnut


Evergreens have leaves that stay on the tree through the winter. 

Example: Shortleaf Pine

Click the photo

Shortleaf Pine

Photographs and text by Peter Callaway. Sources: National Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees, Eastern Region,by Elbert L. Little, 2000, Alfred A. Knopf, New York. Flora of Missouri,by Julian A.Steyermark, Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa, 1981.

This is the Web site of the Bryant Watershed Education Project, based in West Plains, Missouri. Our site is a toolkit for exploring the Bryant Creek, North Fork, Eleven Point and Upper Spring watersheds in the southern Missouri Ozarks.
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