Note that only Scots Pine is native - Some typical spp. shown

Lvs Needle-like or long & narrow:

Needles single
Needles in clumps (2-5)
Needles deciduous in clumps >10
Needles evergreen in clumps >10
Spruces, Firs, etc.
Pines, Pinus
Larch, Larix
Cedars, Cedrus

Needles single:

Lvs tapered at tip and base, on short persistent pegs
Needles single, sessile, on "suckers"
Lvs on partly raised angled "cushions"
Lvs variable size
Spruces, Picea
Firs, Abies
Douglas fir, Tseudotsuga
Western Hemlock Tsuga

Leaves in 2s or 3s, not appressed
Needles single on young shts
Needles with short petiole
Needles with short petiole
Juniper, Juniperus
Yew, Taxus
Irish Yew, Taxus

Flat lvs in one plane
Flat lvs, deciduous
Flat lvs in one plane
Long scale-like lvs
Redwood, Metasequoia
Swamp cypress Taxodium

Pinaceae/Abies . . . . . Firs

Firs have singly inserted flattened lvs on sucker-like bases, generally upward curved; many spp. planted; cones always erect (c.f. Picea)

Abies fraserii . . . . Fraser Fir

Abies grandis . . . . Giant Fir

Can easily see twig when viewed from above, also two rows of lvs (the upper shorter), lvs notched with two bands of stomata only on lower surface

Abies homolepis . . . . Nikko Fir

Abies koreana . . . . Korean Fir

Similar to A. nordmanniana but cones <12 cm

Abies nordmanniana . . . . Nordmann Fir

Branches largely in horizontal planes, cannot easily see twig from above; lvs straight; cones >12 cm with scales exserted

See also the similar A. koreana

Abies procera . . . . Noble Fir

Branches largely in horizontal planes, cannot easily see twig from above; lvs curving up

Pinaceae/Cedrus . . . . . Cedars

Lvs evergreen in clusters >10 on short side-shoots, but singly on young shoots; widely planted

Cedrus atlantica . . . . Atlantic Cedar

Leaves <3cm, tapering gradually to a 0.5 mm translucent tip (cf C. libani which has rapidly tapering lvs)

Cedrus deodara . . . . Deodar Cedar

Tip of tree hanging, lvs >3cm gradually tapered to translucent tip c.0.4 mm

Cedrus libani . . . . Cedar-of-Lebanon

Tip of tree stiffly erect or to one side, lvs <3cm rapidly narrowing to V, <0.2 mm hardly translucent tip

Pinaceae/Larix . . . . . Larch

Larix decidua . . . . European Larch


Most forestry trees are a hybrid between L. decidua and L. kaempferi (Japanese Larch) which has more squat cones (as below) and lvs with white stripes on underside.

Pinaceae/Picea . . . . . Spruces

Needles single, on brown woody pegs (mostly less flat than Abies); cones hanging
P. abies
P. sitchensis
P. orientalis
P. omorika

P. breweriana
P. pungens

Picea abies . . . . Norway Spruce

Old-fashioned christmas tree; needles softer and less sharp than P. sitchensis; compare cones in pic3

Picea breweriana . . . . Brewer's Spruce

Picea omorika . . . . Serbian Spruce

Has characteristic pegs of spruce, but not spiny with flat needles

Picea orientalis . . . . Oriental Spruce

Needles <c.10 mm

Picea pungens . . . . Colorado (Blue) Spruce

Needles square in X-section; glaucous-blue foliage

Picea sitchensis . . . . Sitka Spruce

Needles very sharp and whitish (>15 mm); compare cones with P. abies in pic3

Pinaceae/Pinus . . . . . Pines

Needles in groups of 2, or 3 , or 5

Pinus contorta . . . . Lodgepole Pine

Frequent forestry tree; needles in pairs, twisted

Pinus nigra . . . . Corsican Pine

Long needles in pairs(>8cm); widely planted - straight trunk dark brown all the way up

Pinus peuce . . . . Macedonian Pine

Fine lvs (<0.6 mm wide) in 5s; infrequently planted

Weymouth Pine (Pinus strobus) similarly has fine needles in groups of 5

Pinus radiata . . . . Monterey Pine

Leaves in 3s; commonly planted in CI, SW En and W Wa; cones uneven, persistent 7-14 cm

Pinus sylvestris . . . . Scots Pine

The only native pine; characteristic orange to upper parts of trunk; short (<8 cm) needles in pairs

A number of other spp. are widely planted

Pinaceae/Pseudotsuga . . . . . Douglas Firs

Needles borne singly, slightly flattened; cones characteristic with 3-points

Pseudotsuga menziesii . . . . Douglas Fir

Widely planted - readily recognised from the 3-toothed bracts on the cones

Pinaceae/Tsuga . . . . . Hemlock

Tsuga heterophylla . . . . Western Hemlock

Characteristic variable sized leaves