Tree Identification for South Carolina

Tree Identification for South Carolina

What tree is this?

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!

The Crown

Tree Parts

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.

The Roots

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:

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.

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.

(Grouped by leaf shape alphabetically)


  • Cabbage Palmetto


  • Baldcypress
  • Eastern Hemlock
  • Loblolly Pine
  • Longleaf Pine
  • Pond Pine
  • Shortleaf Pine
  • Slash Pine
  • /

SCALE LEAF - Conifer

  • Eastern Redcedar
  • Leyland Cypress


  • Black Tupelo
  • Eastern Redbud
  • Flowering Dogwood
  • Laurel Oak
  • Live Oak - Evergreen
  • Southern Magnolia
  • Sweetbay
  • Willow Oak


  • American Beech
  • American Holly
  • American Hornbeam
  • Black Cherry
  • Red Mulberry
  • River Birch
  • Sourwood
  • Southern Bayberry or Wax Myrtle
  • Swamp Chestnut Oak
  • Yellow Hawthorn
  • Winged Elm


  • Blackjack Oak
  • Pin Oak
  • Post Oak
  • Red Maple
  • Sassafras
  • Southern Red Oak
  • Sweetgum
  • Sycamore
  • Turkey Oak
  • Water Oak
  • White Oak
  • Yellow-Poplar


  • Boxelder
  • Honeylocust
  • Mockernut Hickory
  • Pecan
  • Red Buckeye
  • Shagbark Hickory

Developed for you by the South Carolina Forestry Commission
in cooperation with the Forest Stewardship Program.

SCFC, Stewardship Logos

Illustrations and Design by Anne Kyle,
Creative Services
South Carolina Forestry Commission
PO Box 21707
Columbia,SC 29221
Phone (803)896-8846
Fax (803)896-8880

Reference Resources/ Education