• Trees in winter

Trees in winter AIDGAP

FSC Trees in winter AIDGAP is a guide to the identification of deciduous broad-leaved trees and shrubs in winter. Written by two experienced field teachers, it has been used successfully on winter tree identification courses for over 30 years.

During the summer trees are relatively easy to identify using leaves and flowers. But tree identification is more difficult in late autumn and winter, when deciduous tree and shrubs have shed their leaves. Fortunately many species have distinctive buds and twigs, with distinguishing chacteristics which are visible to the naked eye.

This guide follows the pattern of a traditional dichotomous key. Line drawings illustrate important characters throughout, including bud, twig, fruit and whole tree silhouette. All illustrations were drawn from fresh specimens of living trees.

Deciduous trees and shrubs provide a wealth of interest and heritage. Although trees are no longer our main source of building material, fencing and fuel, they still provide many benefits. For example, trees play a vital role in helping to regulate water flow and nutrient cycling. Without them many towns and roads would be noisier, dustier and more polluted. They provide shelter for animals and plants. Indeed a mature willow or oak will support many hundreds of species. In turn these species may be important as pollinators, pest controllers or as food.

The Trees in winter guide is part of the FSC’s AIDGAP series (Aids to Identification in Difficult Groups of Animals and Plants). As with all guides in the series, this AIDGAP underwent extensive testing before publication, by beginners and specialists alike. The author has revised the key in the light of the testers’ experience.