Are You a Dendrologist? Identify These Trees by Their Leaves!

By: Kennita Leon
Estimated Completion Time
4 min
Are You a Dendrologist? Identify These Trees by Their Leaves!
Image: Quynh Anh Nguyen/Moment/Getty Images

About This Quiz

A leaf is one of the many organs of a plant, trees included, that have a variety of functions. These typically green appendages are usually flat and are the main participant in photosynthesis and gaseous exchange—two very important processes that happen in plants. But there are many different kinds of leaves, some which remain all year-round and others who only make appearances during certain parts of the year. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with the largest one recorded being 10 feet across. Have you been paying enough attention to them to name them from a picture? 

And you don't need to necessarily know the anatomy of a leaf to pass this quiz, but you do need to know how certain trees' leaves look if you want to get the first questions right. What we're going to do is show you a picture of the leaves of some trees. All you have to do is choose the name of the tree that the leaves belong to. Simple enough right? 

Well, it may be simple, but this quiz is far from easy. Show us that you have what it takes to be a dendrologist in this quiz. 

European Beech This tree can grow over 100 feet. What do you think it is based on its leaves?
Tanoak
Russian-olive
Common beech
The common beech is a massive tree that can grow over 100 feet and grows a dense canopy. Its nearly rounded, bright green leaves first appear in May.
Madrone

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Field maple Which of these trees has five-lobed leaves like the picture here?
Field maple
The leaves of the field maple are olive green but fade during the autumn and have five lobes. It is Britain's only native maple and is used to make syrup.
Sweetgum
Buckeye
Basswood

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Common lime Heart-shaped leaves is what this tree has. Can you tell us its name?
Pitch pine
Common lime
The common lime is described as a tall, broad-leaved tree. It can be distinguished by its heart-shaped leaves which contains tufts of hair, which are usually white, along the vein axils.
Sassafras
Balsam fir

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Crack willow Very similar to the white willow, which tree is this, based on its leaves?
Redwood
Paper birch
Bitternut hickory
Crack willow
The crack willow shares its physical characteristics with the white willow. It can be differentiated however by its narrow elongated leaves which are shorter than that of the white willow.

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Holly This tree is a popular Christmas decoration. What is it?
Catalpa
Madrone
Russian-olive
Holly
Holly is a popular Christmas decoration. The trees most prominent features are its jagged and prickly emerald leaves and red berries.

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Hornbeam This tree looks just like the common beech. But what is it?
Tanoak
Locust
Giant sequoia
Hornbeam
The hornbeam closely resembles the common beech. The leaves of the hornbeam are slightly more elongated than the those of the common beech.

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European Ash Which tall British tree has leaves like this?
Common ash
The common ash is one of the tallest trees in Britain. Its leaves are avocado-colored and come in the form of toothed leaflets.
Willow
Sweetgum
Buckeye

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Quaking Aspen Known to have the word "quaking" in front of it, which tree do you think this is?
Balsam fir
Basswood
Aspen
The Aspen is also known as the Quaking Aspen. This is owed to the rustling sound of its small coppery-brown leaves which are joined to long, flat stalks.
Cottonwood

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Rowan This hard tree has a smooth bark and oval leaves. What is it called?
Pitch pine
Rowan
Despite its hardiness, the Rowan is described as a graceful tree with a smooth bark. Its leaves are in the form of oval, toothed leaflets.
Redwood
Great banyan

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Horse Chestnut This tree, which originates in Turkey, can live for hundreds of years. What is it called?
Bitternut hickory
Sassafras
Madrone
Horse chestnut
Originating in Turkey, the horse chestnut is most popular in gardens and parks and can live up to 300 years. It produces palmated leaves of seven-pointed leaflets.

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Common alder This tree has leaves that remain green during autumn. Can you tell us its name?
Royal oak
Common alder
The dark-green round leaves of the alder are one of the only few to remain green throughout autumn.
Giant sequoia
Comfort maple

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Silver birch This tree has a white bark and large-toothed leaves. Do you know which of the following it is?
Tanoak
Silver birch
The silver birch is native to Britain. It has a white bark and slender trunk that can usually be found near mountains. Its leaves are delicate and large-toothed.
Russian-olive
Catalpa

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Elm A tree formerly associated with death and sadness, can you tell us this tree's name from its leaves?
Sweetgum
Buckeye
Basswood
English elm
The English elm was formerly associated with death and melancholy because of how its dead branches fell without warning. This tree has round-tipped leaves which are double-toothed.

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Sweet Chestnut This tree is said to have been invented during the Roman times. What name does it go by?
Locust
Willow
Sweet chestnut
The origin of the sweet chestnut can be traced back to Roman times. Its leaves are long and narrow and comprise saw-like teeth.
Redwood

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Sycamore This French tree has dark green leaves which you can see in the picture. What is its name?
Cottonwood
Sycamore
Sycamore trees are commonly found in gardens and woodlands. Introduced from France, the sycamore grows dark green, toothed leaves which resemble those of the maple.
Balsam fir
Paper birch

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English Yew This tree has a lifespan of 600 years. Can you tell us its name based on its leaves?
Yew
Given its lifespan of 600 years, the yew is a symbol of immortality and is most often seen in churchyards. Its small, needle-shaped leaves grow in rows of two.
Pitch pine
Great banyan
Royal oak

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Sessile oak Named because of its stalkless acorns, can you tell us what tree this is?
Madrone
Sassafras
Bitternut hickory
Sessile oak
This tree was named because of its stalkless acorns. Sessile oaks are usually taller and straighter than the English oak, and its canopy is made of small jagged leaves.

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Blackthorn A tree from the Rosaceae family, do you know which tree this is?
Blackthorn
The blackthorn is a deciduous tree of the Rosaceae family that also goes by the name "sloe." Its wrinkled leaves are oval and pointed at the tip.
Tanoak
Sweetgum
Russian-olive

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Wild cherry A tree native to Great Britain, which plant has oval leaves like this?
Catalpa
Paper birch
Wild cherry
The wild cherry is native to Britain. Its leaves are oval with pointed tips and can be between 6 cm and 15 cm long. They fade to orange and red during the autumn.
Giant sequoia

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Dogwood These leaves grow on a shrub that is found in southern England. What is it called?
Cottonwood
Balsam fir
Buckeye
Dogwood
Dogwood is most commonly found in southern England. It is a small shrub whose leaves have smooth sides, grows up to 6 cm and are green and oval.

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Juniper This fragrant plant can live for 200 years. Do you know what it is?
Redwood
Basswood
Pitch pine
Juniper
The juniper is a small, fragrant shrub that can live for just about 200 years. Its needle-shaped leaves are tiny and have sharp points.

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Spindle Native to Europe, what is this tree called that has jagged, sharp-teethed leaves?
Great banyan
Spindle
The spindle is a round, deciduous tree native to the UK and Europe. It grows waxed, slightly jagged leaves that have sharp teeth along its edges.
Willow
Bitternut hickory

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Whitebeam A garden plant, do you know the name of this plant that has irregular leaves?
Whitebeam
The whitebeam is a popular choice for gardens and parks. Its irregularly toothed leaves are shiny on top but have white, felt-like hair in the bottom.
Sassafras
Locust
Sweetgum

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Crab Apple This tree is one of the few that does not grow in groups. Do you know what it is called?
Tanoak
Madrone
Giant sequoia
Crabapple
The crabapple, unlike many other trees, grows singly and not in groups. The tree's leaves are oval with round teeth and have a glossy appearance.

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Common box This evergreen grows very slowly. What is its name?
Catalpa
Russian-olive
Common box
The common box, also known simply as the box or the European box, is an evergreen known for its slow growth. Its leaves are oval and reach up to 25m in length.
Cottonwood

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Black Ash Based on these leaves, can you tell us which tree it is?
Paper birch
Buckeye
Black ash
Animals such as the moose love eating the leaves, while birds go for the seed of the black ash. Its leaves are broad and flat and the leaflets are usually around the same size.
Royal oak

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Cedar Which Lebanese tree has leaves such as these?
Balsam fir
Redwood
Cedar
The cedar is native to Lebanon and is often called majestic because of its size. The green needle-shaped leaves of the cedar grow in clusters.
Basswood

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Cypress This tree may have been made accidentally. Do you know what it is based on these leaves?
Cypress
The cypress is believed to have been created during the 19th century by accident. Its small overlapping leaves are soft and scale-like.
Pitch pine
Locust
Willow

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Common hazel This tree can live as long, or longer, than some humans. What is its name?
Common hazel
The common hazel reaches a height of up to 40ft and can live for over 70 years. Its leaves are hairy with jagged edges. This tree is believed to have magical powers.
Willow
Giant sequoia
Cottonwood

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Western hemlock This evergreen was named after Queen Victoria's husband. What was its name?
Bitternut hickory
Western hemlock
The Western hemlock is an evergreen tree that has the honor of being renamed after Queen Victoria's husband. Its small needle-like leaves are soft and grow on forked leaflets.
Sassafras
Sweetgum

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Pear This fruit tree has glossy leaves. Can you tell us what it is?
Russian-olive
Tanoak
Pear
The pear is a deciduous tree which reaches up to 20m in height and has a dome-shaped crown. The oval, glossy, pointed leaves grow on long stalks.
Giant sequoia

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Black pine An ornamental plant, can you tell us the name of this tree that has needle-shaped leaves?
Catalpa
Madrone
Basswood
Black pine
The black pine is popularly used as an ornamental piece. The leaves are stiff and needle-shaped and measure between 10 and 15cm.

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Monkey puzzle This evergreen tree is said to live up to a whopping thousand years. Do you know its name?
Monkey puzzle
The monkey puzzle is an evergreen tree which can live up to 1,000 years. Its leaves are spiky and leathery and grow closely along the branches of the tree.
Cottonwood
Redwood
Buckeye

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Plums This plant is a small shrub that has leaves with serrated edges. Which of the following names does it go by?
Plum
Plums grow as small shrubs or small trees and are said to be a mix between the cherry plum and blackthorn trees. Their leaves are dark green and have serrated edges.
Locust
Paper birch
Sweetgum

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Douglas Fir This tree is native to North America. Based on its leaves, can you say what it is?
Douglas fir
The Douglas fir is native to North America. Its small needle-shaped leaves grow around the twig. They are green with white-green undersides.
Willow
Pitch pine
Giant sequoia

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Norway spruce Usually used as a Christmas tree, do you know which plant this is?
Tanoak
Norway spruce
The Norway spruce is popularly used as a Christmas tree. Its square, pointed leaves take the shape of a needle and are sweet-smelling.
Balsam fir
Bitternut hickory

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Apple This deciduous tree's fruit is usually eaten. What do you think it's called?
Sassafras
Basswood
Russian-olive
Apple
Apple is a widely cultivated deciduous tree, of which there are more than 7,500 variations. It grows dark green leaves which have furry undersides and serrated edges.

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Black walnut These pinnate leaves grow on a deciduous tree. But which one?
Catalpa
Buckeye
Cottonwood
Walnut
The walnut is a broadleaf deciduous tree whose roots have a growth-inhibiting property that prevents other trees from growing next to it. Its leaves are pinnate and form oval leaflets.

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White poplar So-named for its snow-capped appearance, do you know the name of this tree?
Madrone
White poplar
The white poplar has a white, "snow-covered" appearance. The leaves of the white poplar are irregularly toothed. The leaves are green on top but have a white underside.
Locust
Redwood

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Eucalyptus Native to Australia, do you know the name of the tree whose leaves are used for its oil?
Sweetgum
Willow
Eucalyptus
Also known as a gum tree, the Eucalyptus is native to Australia. Adult leaves of the Eucalyptus tree are used in the production of Eucalyptus oil. The long and slender drooping leaves are blue-green.
Tanoak

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