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Genus: Amelanchier Species: spp. Family: Rosaceae (Rose)

Common Names: Serviceberry, Shadbush, Juneberry


Leaf: Alternate, elliptical to ovate, serrate, usually finely.


Bud: terminal, (.75 - 1.5 cm. Usually), conical, imbricate, often with silky hairs (use handlens).


Twig: Reddish-Brown / Grayish Brown


Bark: Typically gray, often becoming striped vertically


Fruit: Pom, (like apple, not a true berry) red to purple, up to 1cm. June, good food, eat before birds get them.

Flower: White, March.

Habit: Small tree or shrub, single or multi-stemmed. Some more upright, some more tree-like. 4' high for Running serviceberry up to 20 feet or more for Allegheny, Shadblow etc. Can sometimes be more than 30' high (A. arborea, A. laevis). Some species "Suckering" and some stoloniferous.


Fall Color: orange-red / brick Red. Very ornamental.


Eco / Notes: Understory/Forest edge. Ornamental, often planted in urban landscape but people aren't aware they're edible. In Ohio, common species are A. laevis, A, canadensis, A. arborea, and A. stolonifera among others.

Key ID Feature(s): Vertically striped bark.



Genus: Cornus Species: florida Family: Cornaceae (Dogwood)

Common Name: Flowering Dogwood.

Leaf: Opposite, simple, elliptical to ovate, acuminate tip

Bud: Flower bud is valvate, biscuit-shaped, pubescent.

Twig: green to purple, smooth (except new), sometimes with "bloom". Sympodial branching.

Bark: small squares, grayish-brown, "alligator".

Fruit: Drupe (like a cherry or grape), red, approx. 1 cm.

Flower: showy white bracts, April-May.

Habit: about 20'. horizontal , unique branching

Fall Color: red to reddish purple

Eco/Notes: forest edge, understory, ornamental in landscape, anthracnose,

Key ID Feature(s): biscuit bud and opposite leaf/bud arrangement. Sympodial branching pattern is very distinctive, results in horizontal "layered" look to plant.





Genus: Crataegus Species: spp. Family: Rosaceae (Rose)

Common Name: Hawthorn.

Leaf: alternate, varied, oval, to ovate sometimes lobed

Bud: imbricate, scales, sometimes red

Twig: Thorns, usually smooth and brown, but varies. Paired spines are modified stipules

Bark: Highly variable, can be mottled, platy, furrowed, apple-like or exfoliating.

Fruit: Pom, drupe-like called "Haw". Often red, ripen in fall, persistent. Can be food.

Flower: variable, usually white, clustered, smell bad.

Habit: small to medium tree, open habit, horizontal

Fall Color: often red or maroon.

Eco/Notes: Pioneer invader, forest edge. Fence row. Alternate host to many rusts.

Key ID Feature(s): thorns and fruit.

Note: One of most commonly misspelled plant names, learn phonetically.



Genus: Hamamelis Species: virginiana Family: Hamamelidaceae

Common Name: Common Witchhazel (spelled with two H's)

Leaf: alternate, simple, rhombic/oblong/ovate, crenate-dentate.

Bud: vegetative: naked, brown, tomentose (fuzzy), flower: bud is stalked.

Twig: zig-zag, slender, brownish, pubescent turning smooth.

Bark: Smooth grayish to brown, not very unique.

Fruit: capsule. 1 cm. Ejects seed far from plant.

Flower: one of Latest flowering woody plants. Late fall. Yellow, small, 4-petals.

Habit: shrub-like tree, 20', usually multi-stemmed.

Fall Color: Yellow

Eco/Notes: Dry-Mesic, understory.

Key ID Feature (s): Flower and buds



Genus: Ostrya Species: virginiana Family: Betulaceae (birch)

Common Name: Hophornbeam

Leaf: alternate, simple, oval, 2-5", acuminate, hairy midrib, double serrate.

Bud: imbricate, "

Twig: dark red brown, shiny.

Bark: ** Grey brown long narrow exfoliating strips **

Fruit: nutlet in a membranous covering/sac (called involucre) resembles hops.

Flower: male Catkins, 3, April, monoecious.

Habit: Medium Tree, 25-40',

Fall Color: slightly yellow

Eco/Notes: associates: Understory/ edge. Oak, beech, hickory, dogwood, serviceberry.

Key ID Feature (s): Bark, fruit, catkins



Genus: Prunus Species: serotina Family: Rosaceae

Common Name: Black Cherry, Wild Cherry

Leaf: alternate, simple, oblong-ovate, acuminate, cuneate, serrulate (long and pointy with a rounded base and fine serrations) dark green above, light green below. 2-6"

Bud: " imbricate, pointy

Twig: straight, shiny, red-brown, glabrous.

Bark: young bark classical cherry, smooth, cinnamon to black, horizontal lenticels. Mature bark is charcoal, chunky and platy, exfoliating. "Burnt Potato Chips". Fast growing trees can have smoother bark, be careful.

Fruit: .75 to 1.25 cm. Summer. Good food, esp. for birds. Red, maroon, black.

Flower: White, spring

Habit: med. to large tree. 50-80', but can get larger.

Fall Color: yellow

Eco/Notes: pioneer invader, persists into climax, Associates incl: r. oak, white ash, sugar maple, basswood, white pine, and hemlock.

Key ID: Bark, Fruit.





Genus: Quercus Species: alba Family: Fagaceae (beech)

Common Name: White Oak

Leaf: alternate, simple, vary-lobed, entire. Darker above than beneath.

Bud: imbricate, blunt, reddish-brown to brown, 1/8 to inch.

Twig: stout, brown - purple, sometimes waxy bloom.

Bark: light gray, blocky vertical. Smooth spots from fungus.

Fruit: Nut, acorn, single or paired, sessile or short stalked, -1", ovoid, to 1/3 covered by cap. Edible, eaten by many animals, humans can eat, boiled in water (Indians, early settlers), white-oak group preferred food by many foraging animals. Large seed, lots of stored energy, distributed by gravity and animals (inefficient). White oaks germinate in fall and over-winter with a root.

Flower: monoecious, spring, oaks are allergy trees.

Habit: large tree, 80 feet. Pyramidal when young, broad when old.

Fall Color: brown/bronze, sometimes wine or russet, matte not glossy. More red in New England, noticeable in fall color there, more brown in Ohio.

Eco/Notes: Lots of associates, climax tree.

Key ID: Bark, Acorn, blunt buds.



Genus: Quercus Species: velutina Family: Fagaceae

Common Name: Black Oak (red group)

Leaf: lobed, ovate to obovate. Toothed/spine, pubescence beneath.

Bud: imbricate, -", ovoid, pubescent (yellowish gray)

Twig: stout, reddish brown, glabrous

Bark: charcoal, narrow fissures, blocky.

Fruit: acorn, solitary or paired, -3/4" , to covered by cap, large fuzzy scales.

Flower: monoecious, spring.

Habit: med to large tree, 50-70 feet. tapering bole, pyramidal when young, becoming broad and increasingly decurrent.

Fall Color: brown

Eco/Notes: Found in lousy sites. Glacial clay hillsides, dry areas, poor soil. Black oak is a member of "red oak group". Red oak group acorns germinate in the spring.


Key ID: Buds, acorn.



Genus: Robinia Species: pseudo-acacia Family: Fabaceae (pea)

Common Name: Black Locust

Leaf: alternate, pinnately compound, 7-19 leaflets, elliptical, entire, glabrous, blue-green.

Bud: no terminal, minute, downy, rust.

Twig: slender, brittle, zig-zag, light reddish to greenish brown, ridges, spines.

Bark: brown / black, deeply ridged and furrowed.

Fruit: pod, flat, brown-black, 2-4". Not many seeds germinate, strong dormancy, passing through gut of animal can break dormancy.

Flower: white, spring, attractive for about a week.

Habit: upright kind of ragged. Spreads via "stolons" or root sprouts, forms thickets or copses of trees.

Fall Color: not much, pale yellow-green. Drops early. Usually leaf miner damage in this area.

Eco/Notes: Pioneer invader. Poor sites. Tough tree, strip mines. Leaf miner turns leaves brown in August. Fixes nitrogen via bacteria in roots. Reproduces via root sprouts "clones". Low seed germination rate, often seeds must pass through animal gut to break dormancy. One of only leguminous trees that fixes significant nitrogen.

Key ID: spines, bark,



Genus: Sassafras Species: albidum Family: Lauraceae (laurel)

Common Name: Sassafras

Leaf: alternate, simple, ovate to elliptic, some lobed, cuneate base (pointy), entire

Bud: imbricate, 2-4 scales, sessile, green tinged with red near tip. 1/3" long.

Twig: sympodial, bright green, red where exposed to sun, glabrous, spicy

Bark: dark mahogany brown, deeply ridged and furrowed, flat corky ridges, look like stacked thin plates.

Fruit: drupe, dark blue, September, favored by birds.

Flower: yellow, early spring. 1-2" racemes.

Habit: pyramidal, irregular

Fall Color: orange-scarlet-purple. Highly ornamental. Multiple colors on same tree

Eco/Notes: pioneer invader, forest edge, persists into canopy. rootbeer.

Key ID: bark, branching, bud, green twig, scented twig.



Genus: Toxicodendron Species: radicans Family: Anacardiaceae (Cashew/Sumac)

Common Name: Poison Ivy

Leaf: alternate, trifoliate, ovate, can be entire or dentate, toothed margin will usually form towards the top half of the leaf.

Bud: no scales, naked bud.

Twig: lots of hairy, brown, aerial roots on vine.

Bark: hairy, brown

Fruit: white clustered berries. Favored by more than 60 species of birds.


Habit: erect spreading shrub (2 feet?), trailing vine, or climbing vine.

Fall Color: Red-maroon. Attractive

Eco/Notes: Causes skin rash. One of most important food sources for birds including bobwhite, pheasant, prairie chicken, ruffed and sharptail grouse.


Key ID: Naked bud, hairy roots, trifoliate, fruit and fall color



Genus: Vaccinium Species: spp. Family: Ericaceae (heath)

Common Name: Blueberry

Leaf: alternate, simple, ovate to elliptic-lanceolate, 1 to 3.5", acute, entire, darker green above, can have pubescent midrib and veins.

Bud: conical, imbricate

Twig: Green, zig-zag

Bark: Gray slightly striped, similar to Amelanchier.

Fruit: blue-black berry, has white bloom that can be rubbed off.


Habit: shrub

Fall Color: yellow, bronze, orange, red

Eco/Notes: Food. In Ohio usually V. vacillans, "dwarf dryland" or "lowbush". Book lists 14 spp. In Ohio. Sugarberry occurs in Cuyahoga Valley, (V. angustifolium) is a larger blueberry. Vaccinium genus also includes cranberry (bogs) and huckleberry, deerberry, and Sparkleberry. Hybrids occur.


Key ID: Green twig