Do you ever find yourself staring at the most wonderful, humongous tree and thinking, “I couldn’t tell you what that tree is for the life of me?” Or you just wish you had the knowledge of how to identify these creatures to appear intellectual to your friends. Or just want to learn how to identify for your own sanity. Here is a short guide on how to tell what tree you are looking at, with some basic common types you can spot all around the UK.
An oak tree is very common in the UK, and normally is the biggest tree in the park. The leaves are rounded and curvaceous, and a big tell is that it sheds acorns in the autumn months. Find them coated in squirrels ready for hibernation. Red ones if you’re lucky!
Horse Chestnut (Conker Tree)
These trees have distinct, spread leaves and more notably spiky cases with brown seeds. These bad boys are the epitome of autumn spirit and are used in multiple different ways, from conker fights to toasting their chestnuts on open fires. The leaves are pretty common and spread out like fans, with individual leaves coming to a point. The trees are usually large, and you can often find old conker shells scattered at their foot.
The leaves of a birch are thin, spindly and fall in draping branches. They are most known for the silver birch, which usually has a silvery stem that peels easily. They also have small ‘fruits’ that resemble little pills, that disintegrate to touch. They usually are fairly small to medium trees and are unique due to their peeling bark.
The Monkey Puzzle Tree
This one isn’t as common as the others, so the chances are you won’t see it every day, but it is more common than you think. The tree is a fantastic edition to your tree knowledge as you can note the fact that the tree name comes from the idea a monkey would be puzzled on how to climb it. The tree is covered in sharp spikes, from its branches to its trunk and bears an oval fruit that falls off later in the year.
In Britain, there is an old superstition that the devil himself sits in this tree (probably because it is razor sharp and painful to touch) and people have to be quiet when walking past, otherwise they will attract the devil’s attention and get bad luck.