Winter Tree Identification
Fruit—When attempting to identify trees in the winter, there are some trees that will make their identity obvious with persistent fruit. This doesn’t mean you can look for bananas and bright, colorful berries. It means some portion or indication of the fruit remains on the tree through all or part of the winter, dry and brown. Sometimes, these fruits can be seen from quite a distance so look up! Examples of these would be some members of the legume family such as the very large, squarish and leathery pods of Kentucky coffee trees and also black locust, which has very long and curling bean-like pods. Both are quite evident right now. Another tree that has persistent fruit is the tulip tree (often erroneously called tulip poplar or yellow poplar) which has the remains of its upright “tulips” still on the branches now. Do you see small, brown and hard fruits that look like berries suspended from little stems? Then your tree could be a variety of the callery pear, AKA Bradford pear.