When you are able to get up close and personal with a tree, taking in its scent, feeling its leaves or needles or examining its bark, it can be pretty easy to identify the tree's species, or at least narrow it down. After all, if you're holding a pine cone in your hand, there's probably a pretty good chance you're dealing with a pine tree, right? But what if you were to step back—way back, where your only clues as to the tree's identity came from the clues you could gather from a distance? Think you could still name that tree?
Of course, even with only a distant view, you can always start you tree ID quest by determining whether you're looking at a deciduous or evergreen species. Deciduous trees are typically going to have broad leaves and a wide cloud-like crown of branches. Evergreens, on the other hand, are your typical Christmas trees, with their characteristic triangle shape and short needles in place of leaves.
Once you've distinguished between these two groups, the real detective work begins. By examining things like the tree's bark, its shape and size, and features like flowers or fruit, you can probably make a pretty good guess as to a tree's ID, even from far away. Ready to test your skills? Take our quiz to see how many of these trees you can name using only a distant image!