Leaf: Opposite, simple, orbicular, 5 to 8 inches long, 3-lobed (resembles a goose foot), serrated margin; green above and paler below.
Flower: Species is dioecious; yellow-green, bellshaped, 1/4 inch long, appear in long, hanging slender clusters in late spring.
Fruit: Paired, wide-spreading samaras, 3/4 to 1 inch long, in hanging clusters, ripen in late summer and early fall.
Twig: Moderately stout, green changing to red or reddish brown, smooth; reddish buds narrowly ovoid, stalked, valvate.
Bark: When young, smooth gray-green with prominent white lengthwise stripes, older bark becomes reddish brown.
Form: Small tree or large shrub up to 30 feet tall.
Leaf: Alternate, simple, oblong to lanceolate, 5 to 8 inches long, pinnately veined, sharply and coarsely serrated with each serration bearing a bristle tip, dark green above and paler below, both sides are hairless.
Flower: Species is monoecious; many small, pale green (nearly white) male flowers found tightly occuring along 6 to 8 inch catkins; females found near base of catkins (near twig); appearing in late spring to early summer.
Fruit: Large, round spiny husk (very sharp), 2 to 2 1/2 inch in diameter, enclosing 2 to 3 shiny, chestnut brown nuts, 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter, mostly round but flattened on 1 or 2 sides ripen in early fall.
Twig: Moderately stout, hairless, chestnut- to orange-brown in color, numerous lighter lenticels; buds are orange-brown, 1/4 inch long, covered with 2 or 3 scales (they somewhat resemble a kernel of wheat), buds are set slightly off center from semicircular leaf scar.
Bark: Smooth and chestnut-brown in color when young, later shallowly fissured into flat ridges, older trees develop distictive large, interlacing ridges and furrows. Blight infested bark is sunken and split, often with orange fungal fruiting bodies.
Form: Once a very tall, well formed, massive tree reaching over 100 feet tall. The chestnut is now found mostly as stump sprouts, less than 20 feet tall. Larger stems are often deformed by blight and sprouting below cankers.
Leaf: Alternate, simple, 3 to 7 inches long, oval in shape with very deep sinuses and bristle-tipped lobes, shiny green above, paler and generally hairless below but may have tufts in vein axils.
Flower: Species is monoecious; males are borne on slender yellow-green catkins; females are borne on very short axilliary spikes, both appear with the leaves in spring.
Fruit: Acorns are 1/2 to 1 inch long, with the cap covering 1/2 of the nut, cap scales are shiny, somewhat resembling a varnished black oak cap, scales on edges of cap generally not loose; the tip of the acorn may have concentric rings or fine cracks; maturing in two years and ripening in the fall.
Twig: Moderately stout, red-brown with multiple terminal buds; buds reddish brown, plump, pointed, slightly angled, and covered with a light colored pubescence on the top half.
Bark: On young trees, gray-brown, with smooth streaks; later becoming darker and developing irregular broad ridges and narrow furrows especially near the base.
Form: A medium size tree reaching up to 80 feet tall with generally poor form, irregular crown, and many dead branches. A butt-swell is often noticeable, and often is useful in identification.
Leaf: Alternate, simple, broadly ovate to obovate, 3 to 6 inches long, inequilateral, wavy margin (nearly dentate), petiole pubescent, dark green above and paler below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; bright yellow, with 4, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, very slender petals (look like yellow spiders on plant), appearing in mid to late fall.
Fruit: Woody, brown capsule, 1/2 inch long and nearly as wide, containing two shiny black seeds, 1/4 inch long, seeds are forcibly discharged when capsule splits open. Maturing in late summer and old capsules are persistent.
Twig: Slender, light brown, fine pubescence; light brown vegetative buds (1/3 inch) are stalked and lack scales (resemble a deer foot, they are actually a tiny folded leaf); flower buds are small, round and occur in tight clusters from short stalks.
Bark: Smooth, gray to gray-brown even on very old stems.
Form: A small tree or shrub with arching branches, usually growing in dense multi-stemmed clumps reaching up to 20 feet tall.
Leaf: Alternate, simple leaf, linear, 2 to 4 inches long, 1/3 to 1/2 inch wide, coarsely irregularly toothed, tight arrangement on twigs causes them to resemble ferns, dark green above, a bit paler below, very fragrant.
Flower: Species is monoecious; females short rounded catkin with reddish bracts, males elongated, yellow-green catkins in clusters at twig ends, appear in spring.
Fruit: Round, bur-like cluster of ovoid nutlets, brown when mature in late summer.
Twig: Slender, gray-brown, fuzzy; buds round, plump, male catkins present in the winter, resin dots often present.
Bark: Smooth, shiny reddish brown, heavily lenticeled.
Form: A small, densely branched shrub reaching 2 to 4 feet in height, spreads with rhizomes.
Leaf: Evergreen needles, 2 1/2 to 5 inches long, with three twisted needles per fascicle, yellow-green to green.
Flower: Species is monoecious; males cylindrical, red to yellow, in large clusters at twig tips; females yellow to red, with small, curved scales.
Fruit: Cones are ovoid, 2 to 4 inches long, light brown in color; umbo is armed with a short, stout prickle; cones are often persistent for many years; maturing in fall.
Twig: Orange-brown and moderately stout; buds narrowly ovoid, light gray-brown.
Bark: Dark and scaly when young, developing red-brown or yellow-brown thick flat plates with deep furrows; sprouts of needles may be present.
Form: Extremely variable; short and poorly formed on poor sites, but can be a straight, medium sized tree reaching 80 feet tall on better sites; epicormic sprouting is common.
Leaf: Alternate, simple, ovate, 1 1/2 to 3 inches long, pinnately-veined, finely serrate, green above and paler below, may be pubescent below, particularly when young.
Flower: Showy with 5 long (1/2 inch) strap-like white petals, occuring in elongated, drooping bunches, appear in spring just before or with the leaves.
Fruit: Red to purple round berry-like pome, 1/4 to 3/8 inch in diameter, in small hanging clusters, ripen in early to mid summer. The fruits are edible and may be the best kept secret in the woods.
Twig: Slender, flexible, red-brown to gray in color,a few lighter scattered lenticels, may be covered with fine hairs when young; buds are long pointed, up to 1/2 inch long, covered with only a few scales, usually with hairy margins, light yellow-green to red in color, often slightly hooking around twigs.
Bark: Smooth when young, ashy-gray with darker stripes; later becoming rough with long vertical splits and furrows.
Form: A shrub or small tree up to 40 feet (occasionally much larger) with a narrow crown.