North florida tree identification

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by Porchfish posted 11-01-2011 09:11 PM 6555 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
View Porchfish's profile


824 posts in 2558 days

11-01-2011 09:11 PM

The reason for my post is to share frustrations that a lot of us feel when trying to identify a specie of tree by bark, leaves,twigs, etc. I have access to definitive information on the topic via a doctoral dissertation that was later published in 1988 , by the University of Georgia press, authored by Robert K. Godfrey titled “Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of North Florida and Adjacent Georgia and Alabama” . This is a 730+ page tome with illustrations and is as thorough as you can get. I wish everyone had a similar text from their area to thumb through. It was a gift from the family. Now the reason I mention it is that in a recent forum I posted a question as to what I should do when cutting down a particular damaged tree. I received many great suggestions and a lot of good information. It was suggested in one response that I consider environmental factors that might have contributed to the “condition” of this tree. This entailed cutting down a small tree & examining growth rings to look for drought effects etc. It was suggested that I cut down one of several small maples in the vicinity of this tree for informative purposes. The difficulty jumped out immediately since there are no maples growing nearby. Then it struck me when I went back out to take a closer look ! The sand oak is surrounded by several small trees with smooth grey mottled bark and looking like they were related. There appears one blue beech (am. hop hornbeam), one american holly, and one magnolia . But no maple. So I looked around the lot , remembering a florida trident maple to be in residence nearby. I have photographed them all so you will be able to see the similarities at a glance . I also photographed the leaves (that I could reach and cut off) the blue beech had grown tall to compete for sunlight and although a traditionally second story dweller, this one was really up there and inaccessible . mea culpa ! Why should anyone give a flying crap ? Well if you want to know where your material comes from, the knowledge is essential. I love my book and am fortunate to have it, but for everyone living outside my region, there is always the co-operative extension service in each state’s land grant college where such information is available and of course there is the computer and google. A book is nice because you can keep it in your car/truck/van etc. and have immediate access to definitive information. Knowledge is a wonderful thing. There is also a fantastic source in the state of Kentucky at the Univ of Ky. cooperative extension service lumber research station at “Quicksand” Kentucky ! If they don’t know answers about forest trees , no-one does.(I hope they haven’t lost their funding and disappeared !) Thanks for reading and if you have any more information resources to share, please let us all know ! don schneider, porchfish@porchfish studio, north florida!

magnolia, holly,trident maple

Trident Maple (florida maple)

Blue Beech (Am. Hop Hornbeam)


American Holly

Front : normal healthy sand oak , Rear : burled scabby sand oak

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

1 reply so far

View WDHLT15's profile


1747 posts in 2501 days

#1 posted 11-02-2011 04:23 AM

Hey Porch,

Thanks for posting this and for the nice pics. I am a tree guy as well having fell in love with tree ID when I was in Forestry School a couple of centuries ago! I am in central Georgia, and here is a link to another fine tree ID book for our area. You may already have it.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics