Tree ID by autumn fruits
Many trees produce fruits that mature by autumn. The fruits are so different in appearance that they can be used to identify tree species. A fruit is a seed-bearing structure that develops from the ovary and surrounding tissue. The seeds are enclosed within the ovary wall. If the wall becomes hard, the fruit is classified as Dry. If it becomes succulent the fruit is classified as Fleshy. Most of the fruits that mature in autumn are Dry but the Walnut, Strawberry Tree and Handkerchief Tree have fleshy fruits.
There are 2 types of Dry Fruit. Those that split open (dehisce) to release seeds when on the tree and those that do not. False Acacia and Laburnum fruits are, like all legumes, ‘pods’ which split open on the tree and release seeds. Dry fruits that do not split open include Maples (‘samaras’), Ash and Tree of Heaven (‘keys’) and Planes (achenes) which fall from the tree and drift on the wind. The most common form of fruit is the ‘nut’ which is found on Oak, Beech, Horse Chestnuts, Buckeye, Hazels and Hornbeam. The nuts often sit in cups or husks that can easily be opened by animals.
Tree ID by autumn fruits – Many trees produce distinctive fruits that mature in autumn. Here are 25 photos of broadleaf tree fruits. Click on any photo to enlarge it.