I have been interested in trees and tree identification from boyhood
but never pursued that interest until I lived in a city with an
Ottawa, Canada, is the site of the Dominion Arboretum, the home of
different species of trees from many parts of the world. The arboretum
is an area of approximately 130 acres (1/5 sq. miles) in the centre
of the city; it is bounded by Carleton University, Dow's Lake, the
Rideau Canal and the Dominion Experimental Farm -- rolling terrain in
a superb setting.
Most of the trees have a name-plate giving
the English, French and Latin names.
The initial set of pages and photographs will be published on the World Wide Web in June, 1996. As I learn more about trees, the results will be
included in these pages.
A Reference and Bibliography section is included and it is hoped to
maintain a current list of links to relevant pages at other sites.
The aim of these pages is to provide an interested student of any age with some basic
information about trees, to show photographs of various species, and to introduce the
subject of tree identification.
The tree called Maple in English, Èrable in French, has, of course, a different name
in every language. In order to enable world-wide communication, plants
scientific names, usually in Latin. A tree species is given two names: a genus name (always
capitalized) and a specific name (usually all lower-case).
It should also be noted that a tree may have a host of common names, e.g., sugar maple is aka
bird's-eye maple, hard maple, rock maple etc.
There are two classes of trees: gymnosperm and angiosperm.
First came the gymnosperms (primarily conifers), about 300 million years ago, and later, about
160 million years ago, the angiosperms (flowering trees). The two classes are distinguished
by the placement of the seeds, i.e.,
The gymosperms, or conifers, are commonly referred to as evergreen; the angiosperms
Here is a summary of the main characteristics of the two classes:
- The seeds are naked (exposed) -- as, for example, in the cones of a pine.
- The seeds are enclosed -- as, for example, in the keys of a maple.
- Angiosperm (Deciduous)
- Deciduous (leaves are shed annually) -- but there are a few evergreen exceptions:
arbutus, holly, some oaks, some laurel, palms etc.;
- Gymnosperm or Conifer (Evergreen)
- Evergreen -- but there are a few deciduous exceptions: bald cypress, larch
- Naked-seeds in cones -- but there are a few exceptions: juniper and yew have a
- Needle-shaped or scale-shaped leaves.
The goal is a set of pictures for a number of trees. A set would
include eventually: silhouettes in winter, trees with full foliage in summer, the bark,
the seeds and the leaves.
The pictures are taken mostly in The Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, Canada (a few from the
Ornamental Gardens). The project was started in March, 1996; the ground
was still covered with snow, but not very deep, so it was fairly easy to walk around.
Since I am neither botanist nor photographer, it is anticipated that the project will
proceed at a fairly slow pace.
Select one of the following Classes:
Hopefully, "Tree of the Month" will be installed in the not too distant future.