Fruit trees are a wonderful addition to any yard or garden. There are many types of trees. Some produce flowers and fruit while some produce only leaves and needles. A fruit tree will flower in the spring and develop its fruit throughout the summer. Finding out what type of tree you have on your property can be difficult, however, before the tree flowers.
Identifying by the fruit
The easiest way to identify a fruit tree is by the fruit it produces. A pome tree, for example, is identified by an edible and "fleshy" hypanthum. The hypanthum is the outer layer around a fruit's core, like an apple or pear. A hesperidium fruit tree has fruits that have sections, like oranges, lemons and grapefruits. Drupe fruit trees produce fruits with a hard outer layer like mangoes, walnuts or coconuts or with a hard inner layer like a peach or plum. If a tree grows without fertilisation or pollination, it is a bacate and it may produce a fruit without seeds and with a thick skin, like an avocado or banana.
Identifying Fruit Trees by Leaf
A more difficult way to identify a fruit tree is by leaf. When looking at a leaf, it is important to notice its structure, vein pattern and its placement on the tree. An apple or cherry tree has a simple leaf, as the leaf is one continuous unit. Compound leaf structures have multiple leaves forming from a single bud node. The shape of a leaf overall (oval, oblong, elliptical) as well as its shape at its apex (top) and base are also important. Take a digital picture of the leaf in question -- or the leaf itself and use an online guide or book to find out what kind of tree you have.
- Tree Identification Book : A New Method for the Practical Identification and Recognition of Trees, George Symonds, 1973
- Colorado State University Extension CMG GardenNotes #134 Plant Structures: Leaves