Katie Eberhart - Writing & Observations
Winter Identification of Deciduous Trees Native to the Matanuska Valley, Alaska and other parts of northern North America
One approach is to decide what the forest looks like. Sometimes this is enough to become relatively certain what kind of tree you are looking at, especially if you are in a familiar area with common trees. Other times identifying trees requires that you evalutate in detail the different structural parts to determine exactly which tree it is. This is called using a Key. Here the key to winter trees is adapted to a linked hypertext environment, with illustrations to guide you through the process.
Look at the tree from a distance, what shape is its crown? Is it rounded and spreading? Are the branches well developed along the trunk but the crown is also well developed?
Another part of the tree to become familiar with is its bark. Below is a "menu" of bark from some of the most common deciduous trees in the native forests of the Matanuska Valley.
Winter tree key derived from: Leslie A. Viereck and Elbert L. Little, Jr., Alaska Trees and Shrubs, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Handbook No. 410, 1972.
This page last updated June 4, 2006