Children/ get to know trees

Recognizing 6 common trees by their foliage.

Common ash and the Rowan tree.

Above the foliage of the common ash tree

As we can see the leaf of the common ash is made up of leaflets. The whole of the leaf may be as long as 30 cm{ 1 foot}. The leaflets may number as many as 13. They grow opposite to each other along the stem of the leaf with a single leaflet at the tip .{this is known as a terminal leaflet}. 

The leaf lets are toothed along their sides {margins} and have a point at their tip. The veins are clearly visible. 

The Rowan tree

This tree is often confused with the common ash tree because the leaves are somewhat similar. This tree also produces foliage with leaflets. But as we shall see the leaves of this unrelated tree are smaller, up to 20 cm long. They have up to 15 leaflets opposite to each other along the stem with a single leaflet {terminal} at the tip of the leaf. The leaflets are more compacted together than those of the common ash. The leaflets are toothed and are of a darker green colour.


Leaves of the Rowan tree

Compare the two leaves side by side. The Rowan leaf is on the left the Ash leaf is on the right.

The beech tree

The beech is a very common tree that grows to the height of up to 30m. However it is also often kept trimmed and produce an effective hedge. Some beech saplings {baby trees} keep their old withered brown leaves on the twigs all through the winter.


Below the fresh green foliage of the beech tree.

Recognizing beech leaves.

The leaf of the beech tree is up to 10cm long, but they are much smaller when young.  the leaves of the beech are termed as being simple, which means they are not divided like those of the Rowan and Common Ash. The leaves are arranged alternate along the stem. When young the leaves are a light green colour while those which are older become dark green  The have wavy margins {edges] The leaves are widest above the middle. The veins are clearly seen  and may number ten pairs.

Beech leaves turn to bronze and gold in autumn. Making the tree one of the finest to produce autumn colours

Beech saplings tend to hold on to their withered leaves all through the winter.

Sycamore and Maple.

Like the leaves of the ash and rowan are similar so are those of the sycamore and maple. The sycamore is a large tree with a spreading dome canopy. The leaves of the sycamore can be quite large when mature up to15cm wide.


sycamore leaves.

The leaves of the sycamore are dark green above a much lighter beneath. The leaves are divided into five lobes which are toothed at the margins. {sides} the leaves of almost all sycamores have black marks on them later in the year. The marks are known as tar spot and is caused by a fungi

Tar spot on sycamore leaves.

Maple leaves are similar in form to those of the sycamore. Below is the foliage of the field maple.

Maple leaves.

The top photograph above is from a Norway maple a tree that is regularly planted along roadsides and in parks and gardens. The foliage of this tree is similar in shape to that of the sycamore. However, they are smaller, as rule. They do however, have five lobes that have very pointed tips.

The field maple often encountered in the wider countryside  also have five lobes, but these are much more blunt and rounded. The leaves of the maple are not affected by the tar spot fungi. Like the beech leaves those of the maple make good autumn displays. 

maple autumn colours

Silver birch

The silver birch is a common tree of parks and gardens and the wider countryside where they may form woods. They grow to the height of 30m. The trees are also recognised by their whitish papery bark. 

The leaves are simple oval to triangular in shape with toothed margins {sides}. The teeth are  quite sharp in shape. The leaf is up to 6cm long. 

Young silver birch tree with fresh spring leaves

The images on this page are all by Dal. Thank you for visiting.