If the tree is deciduous and has lost its leaves, you should be able to identify it by examining its buds.This is the most reliable way of identifying a deciduous tree in  winter. Buds are located at the end of stems (terminal buds) and along stems (lateral buds). Examine the buds and stem closely, if possible, and then choose one of these options by clicking on the BUTTON below the option photo. Click on any photo to enlarge it.

Identification by buds can be difficult, particularly if the they are very small and not easy to see. So you may have to rely on other features in winter. Examine the bark, old leaves, old fruit, thorns, catkins or the tree shape and use one of the other options to see if they give you a clue to the tree identity and then check the buds again.

Opposite buds of Horse Chestnut

Horse Chestnut, Maples, Ash, Spindle, Elder, Box Elder, Dawn Redwood

Alternate spiral buds of Goat Willow

Willows, Poplars, Beech, Hornbeam, Bird Cherry, Alder, Walnut, Sweet Chestnut, Birch, Hazel

Alternate buds of Small-leaved Lime

Elms, Limes, Mulberries

Clustered buds of English Oak

Cherries, Oaks

Pear, Apple, Rowan, Star Magnolia, Field Maple