How to Identify a Region's Trees


1. Wikipedia.  'Category' pages provide a list of links on a specific subject; in this case Trees of the Bahamas shows 33 of the country's trees.  Not a complete list but clicking through it can lead to familiarity and maybe some ID's. Another example, Tree of the United States, lists 103 tree, plus 'subcategory' pages by region have dozens or even hundreds more.
2. Local parks.  At a nearby preserve or public park (green areas on Google Maps), ask for info packets in the office.  For example, at The Retreat National Park, rangers gave me the laminated ID guide pictured above.  Also in the Park, some trees along trails were marked with name tags or interpretive signs.
3. Local people.  Ask around locations where people work with plants: farms, nurseries, arboretums nature centers, national parks, private preserves, universities, any establishments with a landscaping crew like golf courses or resorts, or even just your average resident.  For example walking around New Providence I saw a man in his front yard knocking fruit from a tree I didn't know.  I simply said hello, asked what it was and he gladly told me "breadfruit."
4. Google Image.  Using a tree's distinct features as keywords, searching Google Image may result in a matching photo.  For example, I searched "legume tree red flowers long pods," and one of the resulting images appeared to match my tree.  Following the image's link led to a name, Delonix regia.  Then I copy/pasted that name into a new search to view more images and be certain it matched.
5. Facebook groups.  When all else fails, the Tree Identification group is full of knowledgeable and helpful folks.  Be sure to provide quality photos with closeups of leaves, bark, fruits, flowers and as many distinguishing features as possible, especially terminal buds, and state your location.

*Taking and storing photographs would be implied for most of these methods.  A useful trick: in your photo gallery (at least for my android), each photo's info, or 'i', button gives you the time, date and mapped location where each was taken.  You can also type notes on the photo, for example, if you've learned the name of the tree and don't want to forget it.



Trail signs at a park, an easy way to I.D.
A tree I identified with Google Image search
(Delonix regia)

See some lists I've compiled with these methods:
Trees of the Andes
Trees of the Bahamas
Trees of New Orleans

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