Leaves can be classified in several ways. First, by tree type – deciduous or evergreen, and second by growth type – simple or compound.
Deciduous trees provide our beautiful autumn colours. They are the trees which shed their leaves in autumn.
Evergreen trees are those, such as christmas trees, which remain green all year round.
Simple leaves have one single leaf per twig.
Compound leaves have multiple leaves per twig.
You may also come across the terms ‘broad-leaf’ and ‘needle-leaf’. Generally speaking, broad-leaf trees are deciduous and needle-leaf trees are evergreen. However, not all deciduous trees are broad-leaf. And not all needle-leaves are evergreen.
For example, strictly speaking, larch is a needle-leaved conifer. But, unlike other conifers, it sheds its leaves in autumn. Holly is strictly a broad-leaf, but has a tendency to remain green all year round.