Iowa State University Extension Forestry

An Interactive Key of Common Iowa Trees

Ready to get started identifying your tree? The following key is based on the use of only the leaves and branches, since they are the simplest parts of the tree to use for identification during the summer months when trees are in full foliage. To identify your tree, you'll be making a series of choices based upon sketches and tree characteristics. Through a process of elimination, you'll arrive at an identification of your tree. In some cases the trees have not been keyed out to the individual species.

The first place to start is to determine if you have a conifer (evergreen) or a broadleaf. Please look at the two sketches below and choose the one that is closest to your tree:

Needle-like leaves or Broadleaf leaves


Contact: Paul Wray
Last Update: May 17, 1999