Tree Identification for South Carolina
A Tree Identification Booklet
for South Carolina Forests
There is probably a forest right in your own back yard. A place where you can begin to discover the unique charactertistics of individual trees.
Trees offer us such a diversity of beauty and products. The more we learn about trees, the more we can appreciate their role in the complex environment in which we live.
Remember: Trees are a natural renewable resource. That's amazing!
Each leaf or needle absorbs sunlight, carbon dioxide from the air, water and nutrients from the soil and turns them into sugars the tree needs to grow. (Photosynthesis)
The Tree Trunk
is covered with bark that is unique to that species of tree. Bark protects the tree. The trunk also produces wood cells and carries water, nutrients and sugars to parts of the tree. It is also the part that holds the tree up.
anchor the tree into the ground. They store starch for the tree's use and they absorb water and nutrients from the soil. Most of the roots are only one foot underground, but they may spread beyond the tree's leaf canopy.
The tree species illustrated in this booklet are only a few of the more common trees you will find in South Carolina. Listed below are tree books available at local book stores that will give additional information:
- The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees
- Trees of North America - A Guide to Field Identification
- The Tree Identification Book
- Landscape Plants of the Southeast - by Gordon Halfacre
What Tree is This?
A tree is one of our greatest natural resources, and the only one that is renewable. This booklet is designed to help recognize a few of the trees native to South Carolina woodlands. Learning the name of a tree is only the first of many steps in learning about other forest systems (such as wildlife, soils, or water). We hope that you will be stimulated to pursue a greater appreciation and understanding about the forest environment.
- KINDS OF TREES:
There are two distinct kinds of trees found in South Carolina's forests:
- Conifers: Pine and cedar. These trees have needle- or scale-like foliage and cone- like fruits. They are generally known as evergreens. (exceptions such as Baldcypress)
- Broadleaf trees: Oak, maple, elm, etc. These trees lose their foliage each fall growing season and develop new leaves each spring. They are generally described as deciduous.(exceptions such as American Holly)
- HOW TO STUDY TREES:
To identify any of the trees in our forests, an observer must learn to recognize one of several plant characteristics. These include:
- leaf shape
- twigs and buds
- general appearance or shape.
As you become familiar with the kinds of trees, you will begin to understand the value of trees. Trees provide beauty, food, shelter, oxygen, wood products, and ...
a great place for adventure.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Developed for you by the South Carolina Forestry Commission
in cooperation with the Forest Stewardship Program.
Illustrations and Design by Anne Kyle,
South Carolina Forestry Commission
PO Box 21707