For their second guest post, the team at Muddy Puddles have compiled a fun and informative guide to identifying trees, by their winter leaves…

Calling all nature detectives – this month we are going to head out and identify some trees. But how, we hear you ask? Well, by taking a closer look at their leaves. Trees have leaves of all shapes and sizes – here are some to look out for:

Sycamore

Sycamore

The Sycamore tree can grow to 35m and live to 400 years old. The Sycamore tree grows fruit called Samara, better and more affectionately known as ‘helicopters’.

Conifer

These evergreens are more commonly known as Fir trees. The size of a conifer can vary from 1m to over 100m. An evergreen is a tree that has leaves throughout the year and they are always green, hence the name.

Beech

Beech

A mature Beech tree can reach heights of over 40m and develop a huge domed crown. Beech trees can live for hundreds of years and when coppiced (cut to a stump to allow re-growth) can live for 1000 years.

Holm Oak

Holm Oak

The Holm oak was introduced to Britain in the late 1500s. They can grow to 20m high and they develop a rounded crown. The Holm oak is also known as the ‘holly oak’ because its leaves have little spikes just like holly.

Bay

Bay

The Bay Tree is a smaller tree that grows up to 7/8m. The bay leaf is known for its use in cooking, giving fragrant flavour to a number of dishes.

Holly

Holly trees can grow up to 15m high and can live up to 300 years. Holly is best known for its decorative use at Christmas time.

If you’re struggling to identify your leaves there are free apps available to give you a helping hand. The Forestry Commission’s ForestExplorer app is an excellent example. Bring your tablet along on your winter walks and indentifying leaves could become a fun winter’s game!

muddypuddles.com

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