Tree Silhouettes

An expert bird-watcher can often identify a bird by its silhouette alone, birds are dependable: a grackle always is shaped precisely like a grackle, and one starling invariably resembles another starling. Trees, on the other hand, are not so consistent. The beginner, learning his trees, yearns for a book that will give him shapes and field marks by which he can make snap identifications from a moving car. But it isn't that easy* True, an elm somehow always looks like an el in, but many trees assume a variety of shapes. A young tree might look entirely unlike a grizz'ed veteran of the same species. And a forest-grown tree, reaching for the light, might be tall, slender, and restricted in its branching compared to a field-grown example where plenty of sun, soil, and moisture- have enabled it to develop a maximum crown.

But within limits one can, with a little practice, recognize by shape and manner of growth quite a lew of the trees and also some of the shrubs. On the following pages are presented some silhouettes of a selection of trees (and one or two shrubs)- Not all examples will look like these, but they are, on the whole, typical. They represent open-grown specimens, not those of crowded woodland situations. If in doubt check the leaf and twig characters. Silhouette page numbers appear in italic at the beginning of the descriptions in the text.

Silhouette TreesLoblolly Pine Silhouettes

Toll. erect trunk; stout right-angle branches, symmetrical crown; fong dark green foliage, ascending tips

Usually low, irregular, scraggly; many dead branches; coarse foliage in rigid tufts

LOBLOLLY PINE

Toll, clean cinnamon trunk; open crown, drooping lower limbs

WHITE PINE

Tall dark trunk; spreading horizontal limbs; delicate spraylike foliage

Cedar Tree Silhouette
PITCH
Spruce Tree Silhouette

WHITE SPRUCE

Pyramidal; upper branches ascending, lower nearly horizontal; folioge bluish green

WHITE SPRUCE

Pyramidal; upper branches ascending, lower nearly horizontal; folioge bluish green

RED SPRUCE

Rather open-branched, tips upcurved; foliage yellowish green

Spruce SilhouetteCypress Tree Knees Silhouette

SPRUCE

SPRUCE

Slender; short branches; foliage bluish green

NORWAY J SPRUCE

Usually near houses; pyramidal; strongly drooping lateral branchfets

Spruce SilhouetteFir Tree Silhoettes

BALSAM FIR

Conical; branches ascending; erect cones; flat needles

RED CEDAR

Conical heod (wider with age*; shojt stem

HEMLOCK

Loose, irregular, feathery; short fiat needles

NORTHERN WHITE CEDAR

Dense conical head clothed almost to base; flat sprays

Feathery Needle TreeCedar Tree Silhouette

COMMON ■ COTTONWOOD

open crown (shaggier than Elm)

AMERICAN LARCH

Pyramidal (when young); short needles in tufts (shed in winter)

Tree Silhouette Vector Oval

CYPRESS

WHITE OAK

CYPRESS

WHITE OAK

Short trunk; crown often much wider than high

Flat-topped; irregular, feathery; buttressed; "knees" often protrude from water

Silhouettes Trees With Long BranchesSmall Lombardy Poplar

LOMBARDY POPLAR

COMMON ■ CATALPA

Talf, sfender; trunk continuous; Round-topped; targe heart-shaped many hugging branches leaves; long beaniike pods

Branches Shaped Into Oval

Short stem; full egg-shaped head Vase-shaped; trunk divided into large outspreading limbs

MAPLE

Short trunk; many ascending branches; symmetrical oval head; dark flaky bark

Short trunk; broad oval head (sometimes broader at top); gray beechlike upper branches

Black And White Pics Oak Leaves
WHITE

Trunk often divided low down; oval head; cross-shaped branching; diamond-ridged bark

Upright trunk; branches often angle upward; erect dry seed cones

Gopyrtghted m atrial

Elm Tree Silhouette

BLACK

HICKORY

Small Tree

BUTTERNUT

HICKORY

BLACK

Sharply divided trunk; heavy alternate branches; open spreading head

HICKORY

Oblong; very shaggy bark (may be less twiggy, longer trunked)

BUTTERNUT

HICKORY

Round-topped or like inverted Narrow oblong head; tight triangle; Y-tike branches bark; contorted branches

Hickory Tree

WHITE

Aspen Tree SilhouetteAspen Tree Silhouette

fower limbs often drooping

Brooder thon tall; short trunk branches gnarled

PIN J OAK

Upper branches ascending; lower branches drooping

Vase-shaped; trunk divided into targe outspreading branches

Tree TrunkBlack And White Birch Tree Silhouette

SYCAMORE

QUAKING 01 ASPEN

SYCAMORE

Smute VrbaTree Maple

GRAY

BIRCH

Often clumped; chalky bark (not peeling) with dark triangulo patches; slender twigs large, open, irregular; bark in patches revealing whitish under bark

BEECH

Smooth light gray bark; dense ovate head; often a few persistent leaves

GRAY

BIRCH

Often clumped; chalky bark (not peeling) with dark triangulo patches; slender twigs

Upper bark whitish with dark blotches; reddish-brown twigs

Elm SilhouetteDense Foliage Tree Silhouette

FLOWERING DOGWOOD BLACK WILLOW

Spreading bushy head; conspicuous Disheveled-looking; much branched, erect flower buds at ends of twigs often many shoots and suckers

WEEPING WILLOW PUSSY WILLOW

Drooping twigs and branches Clumped; catkins evident in early spring

Willow Tree Silhouette

BLACK | LOCUST

Trunk usually divided; oblong head; scraggly branches

Birch Bark Silhouettes

Flat-topped; branches without sprays; clusters of winged seeds

Short trunk, broad rounded or flat-topped head; thorny at bases of branches

Gnarled Tree Silhouette
STAGHORN SUMAC

Small, straggling, forked, flat-topped; erect red fruit clusters

Tree Without Leaves

HONEY« LOCUST

Broad Lthorny Leaves

Oblong or flat-topped head; side branches at right angles, contorted, ending in bushy spray

Gnarled Tree Silhouette

Low ragged crown; gnarled, Oblong head; branches irregular thorny; often in hedges spreading, often zigzag

Birch Tree Silhouette
SWEETGUM

Symmetrical; conical or flat-topped; twigs with corky wings; hanging seedballs

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  • leea
    How to draw a tree without leaves?
    4 years ago
  • alfie
    Which is the smallest tree trunk twig leaf branch?
    4 years ago
  • arvid
    How to draw a hickory tree?
    4 years ago
  • Ky
    How to draw a sumac tree?
    3 years ago

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