Trees of Florida

At the Trees of Florida station, participants will be asked to identify tree specimens presented indoors on tables. Juniors will be asked to identify 15 trees, Intermediates will be asked to identify 20 trees, and Seniors will be asked to identify 30 trees. Participants will not be asked for scientific names or about any of the natural history information at the Tree ID station, but some of that information may be useful in the Forest Ecosystem station.

The way that participants will record their answers depends on the age classification. Juniors and Intermediates will be given lists of possible trees in alphabetical order by common names and will be asked to match the number for the tree name with the letter for the sample on the table. NEW: Starting with the 2016 contest, Seniors will not receive a list of names. They will only receive an answer sheet with blank spaces and they will need to write out the common name for each sample. Spelling, including capitalization, must be the same as that on the Official Tree List in order to be counted correct. Minor spelling errors will result in ½ point per tree. Participants are encouraged to practice using the actual scoresheets for the contest. Students who request assistance with reading or writing will be put in Group E; for those in Group E, points will not be deducted for spelling errors.

The majority of the tree species for Seniors are also on the National 4-H Forestry Invitational list, which - we hope - will make it easier for Senior participants to study for the national contest.

To prepare for this station, participants should study the trees showing an "X" under their age group in the chart below and be able to identify those trees by leaf, twig or fruit. Click on the common name of the each tree to learn more about it. For your convenience, this table is sortable. Click on any header to sort by that column. Hold down the "shift" key if you want to sort by multiple columns (eg, to alphabetize the plants for a certain age group).

Trees is red are considered invasive to Florida.

Important: Note that Cabbage Palm has moved from the Trees list to the Plants list, starting with the 2016 contest.

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Common Name Scientific Name Juniors
(ID 15 of 20)
(ID 20 of 28)
(ID 30 of 51)
American basswood* Tilia americana     X
American beech* Fagus grandifolia     X
American elm* Ulmus americana   X X
American holly* Ilex opaca var. opaca X X X
American hornbeam Carpinus caroliniana     X
American sycamore* Platanus occidentalis X X X
bald cypress* Taxodium distichum X X X
black cherry* Prunus serotina   X X
black locust* Robinia pseudoacacia     X
black walnut* Juglans nigra   X X
blackgum* Nyssa sylvatica     X
boxelder* Acer negundo   X X
Brazilian peppertree Schinus terebinthifolia     X
Carolina willow** Salix caroliniana     X
Chinese tallow Triadica sebifera   X X
common persimmon* Diospyros virginiana   X X
eastern cottonwood* Populus deltoides     X
eastern Hophornbeam Ostrya virginiana     X
eastern redcedar* Juniperus virginiana X X X
Florida maple** Acer saccharum subsp. floridanum     X
flowering dogwood* Cornus florida X X X
honeylocust* Gleditsia triacanthos     X
laurel oak Quercus laurifolia X X X
live oak* Quercus virginiana X X X
loblolly pine* Pinus taeda X X X
longleaf pine* Pinus palustris X X X
melaleuca Melaleuca quinquenervia X X X
mockernut hickory* Carya tomentosa     X
pecan* Carya illinoinensis X X X
pignut hickory* Carya glabra X X X
pond pine** Pinus serotina     X
red buckeye** Aesculus pavia     X
red maple* Acer rubrum X X X
red mulberry* Morus rubra     X
redbay Persea borbonia     X
river birch* Betula nigra     X
sassafras* Sassafras albidum X X X
sea grape Coccoloba uvifera     X
Shumard oak** Quercus shumardii     X
silver maple* Acer saccharinum     X
slash pine Pinus elliottii   X X
southern magnolia* Magnolia grandiflora X X X
southern red oak* Quercus falcata   X X
sugarberry** Celtis laevigata     X
sweetgum* Liquidambar styraciflua X X X
tuliptree* Liriodendron tulipifera X X X
turkey oak Quercus laevis X X X
water oak* Quercus nigra X X X
waxmyrtle Myrica cerifera X X X
white ash* Fraxinus americana     X
white oak* Quercus alba     X

* Species is on the National 4-H Forestry Invitational list

** Species may be used as a substitute to learn about the following species that are on the National List:

The following Florida trees are not on the state 4-H contest list but can be used as local “substitutes” to help contestants learn northern species that are on the national list.

  • Atlantic white-cedar for northern white-cedar or arborvitae
  • Florida yew for Pacific yew
  • hazel alder for red alder
  • Japanese-cedar for giant sequoia
  • swamp tupelo for black tupelo or blackgum