White Oak, Red Oak, American Holly - Tree Leaf Key

A Quick and Easy Way to Identify 50 Common North American Trees

So, your tree has leaves where the ribs or veins within the lobes arise from several places along the central vein or midrib (and the term for this arrangement is called pinnate). Use this leaf image diagram for tree leaf structure details. If this is correct, you most probably have a broadleaf or deciduous tree that is either a white oak, red oak, or American holly. Let's continue...

If you need to start over return to the Tree Key Start Page.

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White Oaks (The Major Oaks)

White Oak. White Oak
Does your tree have leaves that are rounded in the bottom of the sinus and at the top of the lobe and have no spines? If so you have a white oak.

OR

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Red Oaks (The Major Oaks)

Red Oak
Red Oak. Red oak

Does your tree have leaves that are angular to rounded at the base of the sinus and angular at the top of the lobe and have small spines? If so you have a red oak.

OR

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American Holly

American Holly. American Holly
Does your tree have evergreen leaves that are angular at the tip of the lobe and shallow, rounded at the base of the lobe and have large, sharp spines? Does your tree have red berries? If so you have an American holly.

Identification Overview

Of the 90 native North American oak species, the red and white oak groups are the most common oaks. Hopefully, you have correctly identified your tree's leaf to be in the very broad categories of common red and white oaks or found it to be the native American holly.