Tree Notes is about trees -- especially native trees, trees for wildlife, and trees in history.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Which state trees are members of the pine family?

1/3 of the official state trees belong to the family Pinaceae.


Links on the state names in the list below lead to an official state symbols page. Links of the Latin tree names lead to the USDA Plants database.


I was disappointed with the images -- if any -- that most of these states showed for their state tree. Students would never be able to learn the identifying characteristics of their state trees by looking at most of those photos.

Read more about the pine family (Pinaceae) at Conifers.org.

3 comments -- please add yours:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Genevieve,
With your knowledge of trees it would be great to see a series on native trees of Kentucky or any other state with good ID photos. I am interested in native trees in Ky but have a difficult time identifying them with the books available. Any suggestions to us on how to approach identifying our native trees? Your site has been helpful. -- Barbara

Genevieve said...

Barbara, if you don't own a good tree field guide, you should get one (or preferably two or three). I also suggest buying Trees & Shrubs of Kentucky by Mary E. Wharton and Roger William Barbour. There are a number of copies on Abebooks. It's not a field guide, but it's a good reference. because it contains photographs of Kentucky trees. (Sometimes leaves and bark of a species vary a little from region to region, so it is helpful to see a Kentucky example.)

Start with a few trees that you see frequently. Take your field guides and see if you can make a tentative ID. Verify your identification with pictures on the internet tree sites. Collect some leaves from the trees, press them, and mount them. Look for other specimens of the same species. Read on the internet about that tree -- where does it like to grow, how tall does it get, what is it's general shape? These things help in identification, too. It's really just a matter of devoting time to the study.

Don't be critical of yourself if you can't identify every tree you see. If you learn to recognize ten native trees common to your area, that's a whole lot more than most people can do.

Eastcoastdweller said...

There's just something about a pine tree -- and nothing says summer to me like the scent of pine sap warmed up by the sun.

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Enrich your life with the study of trees.

"The power to recognize trees at a glance without examining their leaves or flowers or fruit as they are seen, for example, from the car-window during a railroad journey, can only be acquired by studying them as they grow under all possible conditions over wide areas of territory. Such an attainment may not have much practical value, but once acquired it gives to the possessor a good deal of pleasure which is denied to less fortunate travelers."

Charles Sprague Sargent (1841-1927)

Print references I frequently consult

Benvie, Sam. Encyclopedia of North American Trees. Buffalo, NY: Firefly, 2000.

Brockman, C. Frank. Trees of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Ed. Herbert S. Zim. New York: Golden, 1986.

Cliburn, Jerry, and Ginny Clomps. A Key to Missouri Trees in Winter: An Identification Guide. Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri, 1980.

Collingwood, G. H., Warren David Brush, and Devereux Butcher. Knowing Your Trees. Washington: American Forestry Association, 1978.

Dirr, Michael. Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: an Illustrated Encyclopedia. Portland, Or.: Timber, 1997.

Elias, Thomas S. The Complete Trees of North America; Field Guide and Natural History. New York: Book Division, Times Mirror Magazines, 1980.

Grimm, William Carey. The Book of Trees;. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole, 1962.

Hightshoe, Gary L. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America: a Planting Design Manual for Environmental Designers. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1988.

Little, Elbert L. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees. New York: Chanticleer, 1996.

Martin, Alexander C., Herbert S. Zim, and Arnold L. Nelson. American Wildlife and Plants. New York: McGraw Hill, 1951.

Mitchell, Alan F., and David More. The Trees of North America. New York, NY: Facts On File Publications, 1987.

Randall, Charles E. Enjoying Our Trees. Washington: American Forestry Association, 1969.

Settergren, Carl D., and R. E. McDermott. Trees of Missouri. Columbia: University Extension, 1995.

Sternberg, Guy, and James W. Wilson. Native Trees for North American Landscapes: from the Atlantic to the Rockies. Portland: Timber, 2004.

Wharton, Mary E., and Roger W. Barbour. Trees and Shrubs of Kentucky. Lexington: University of Kentucky, 1973.

Wyman, Donald. Trees for American Gardens. New York: Macmillan, 1965.

Photos and text copyright © 2006-2010 by Genevieve L. Netz. All rights reserved. Do not republish without written permission. My e-mail address is gnetz51@gmail.com