Identifying common tree leaves

Field Guides >  Tree Leaves Identification Guide

Lets meet our most common tree leaves

Hello! In this tree leaves identification guide, we will introduce you to some of our most commonly found tree leaves and help you learn a little bit about how to use leaves in identifying your trees. Are you ready? Let’s get started …

identifying elder


field maple

Field Maple

hawthorn leaf


hazel leaf




horse chestnut leaf

Horse Chestnut

linden leaves


London plane leaf

London Plane

Norway maple

Norway Maple

oak leaf




sweet chestnut

Sweet Chestnut





willow leaf


identifying wych elm

Wych Elm

Using our tree leaves identification guide

Leaves are the power houses of all plants and trees – the place where photosynthesis happens and where trees (and plants) make the energy they need to survive. They are also one of the easiest ways to start your tree identification journey.

The main points to think about when identifying tree leaves, are:

  • Overall leaf shape (e.g. lobed, thin, star, hand)
  • Leaf margins (e.g. smooth, wavy, toothy)
  • Leaf tips (e.g. pointy, rounded, indented)
  • Bases (e.g. symmetrical, asymmetrical)
  • Stems (e.g. colour)
  • Undersides (e.g. pale, hairy)
  • Veins (e.g. parallel, branching, higgledy piggledy)

In addition, notice the position of the leaves on the tree’s twigs and branches:

  • Opposite or alternate
  • Single or grouped

Each of these descriptions will have their very own special word in Greek or Latin, which can help you identify them in field guides. But, here, we a focus on ease of use and connection over semantics. (If like me, you love learning scientific terms, you can check out our botany tutorials)

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