How do you identify the trees when hiking? 

It's autumn!  Take advantage of the leaves on the ground to learn how to identify them.

The National Forests Office (French: Office National des Forêts or ONF) is a government of France agency that manages the state forests.They have put in place an easy system to identify all trees when out hiking.Deciduous, conifers, you'll find out all there is to know about the forest! Ideal for challenges between friends or family during your hikes... or to simply shine in society!

Learn how to identify the different trees and bushes in the forest

Before giving you the easy solution, we will give you some clues so you can identify the trees in order to develop your knowledge of the flora. 

🍃Identify a tree depending on its situation
Depending on the context in which you are going to meet a plant species, you will already be in possession of elements allowing it to be identified. It is therefore important to be well informed about the surrounding flora and local species. 
Ex: the umbrella pine is a typical tree found in the Mediterranean region.
The place where the tree is located can also give indications. Some species thrive, for example, near water points, or in woods, in rather sunny or shady places. The altitude is also a good element to take into account. 

🍃Identify a tree thanks to its appearance
The shape and size of a tree can also give good information to help identify it. This requires having a compass in the head and therefore being able to assess how many meters the trunk stands. Trees also have their own appearance. To talk about the umbrella pine again, it looks nothing like a weeping willow, for example. The more you practice, the keener your eye will be to differentiate between similar species.

🍃How do you identify trees by looking at their trunk and bark?
Like the elements mentioned above, the bark is a very good tool for identifying the species of a tree.By observing its texture, colour and cracks, you will surely be able to recognize what type of tree you are dealing with. 

🍃The flowers and fruit
Some tree species have certain fruit and flowers which will help you to identify the tree. You still have to be able to tell the difference between a conker and a chestnut ;)

How do you identify trees when hiking?

Identify a tree thanks to its leaves

How do you identify a bush or tree thanks to its leaves?
The leaves represent a real key element in identifying a tree or a bush. During your observation, you can ask yourself the following questions to make your task easier:

🍁Are the leaves simple or compound?
A simple leave is made up of one piece with edges devoid of teeth. In botany, we speak of a simple leaf blade.
A compound leaf, on the contrary, is composed of a blade in several parts.

🍁 Are the leaves alternate or opposite?
To find out it is necessary to observe a branch, if the leaves grow opposite each other on the same branch they are opposite.If they face each other in a staggered manner, it is because they are alternating.

🍁How are the veins?
There may be one or more main veins. Depending on the shape and location of the veins on a leaf, you will have additional clues to identify its owner.

Download the guide to identify the different kinds of trees in pdf

Here are two documents proposed by the National Forests Office, thanks to them, you will always be able to identify the name of the main trees that you will meet among the two large families: deciduous and conifers.To put in your pocket during your walks and hikes.



Deciduous are trees that produce leaves, and conifers have needles.

They can be deciduous (meaning they shed their leaves in autumn) or evergreen (they keep their leaves all year round).



For conifers it is the same as for deciduous. Some like the larch lose their needles and others like the fir keep them all year round.But in the forest in summer, how do you know which one is which? Easily with the keys to the forest!


Quite connected?here is an application to identify trees

Discover the application "Keys of the forest"! The assistant to identify all tree species always at hand on your mobile.


The trendy deco is yours!

To keep a souvenir of your hikes in the forest, dry your treasure and display them. For you the trendy deco and a touch of nature every day in the living room!

You can also opt for the classic version with a herbarium, it will delight children and motivate them to complete their collection on each hike.



What is usda ? (u.s department agriculture)

USDA is an agency of United State that helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production, and to preserve the Nation's natural resources through conservation, restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands.

Get ready to go with our hiking advice...



Want to know more about picking plants while hiking? Follow the advice of Christophe, a naturopath, herbalist and botanist for 9 years and founder of Le Chemin de la Nature (Nature Trail) website.
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