How to Identify Fruit Trees by the Leaves


Identifying fruit trees by their leaves only can be tricky. Many fruit tree leaves are similar in size and shape. In addition to their leaves, consider a fruit tree's blossoms, bark and of course, fruit. Also, consider the time of bloom. Some fruit trees, such as apricot and sweet cherry, bloom in early spring. Apples bloom mid-to-late spring in temperate climates. Additionally, consider your climate and geography. Apricots, cherries and peaches need long warm summers. Apples grow well in colder climates, while citrus only grow in warm, southern locations.

Step 1

Look at the shape of the leaf. Many fruit trees, including apple, peach and pear have leaves that are elongated ovals. Peach, apple and cherry tree leaves have small-toothed edges. Peach tree leaves are longer and narrower than apple; cherry and pear leaves and turn inward.

Step 2

Examine the color of the leaf. Apple leaves often have silver colored undersides. Cherry leaves are a deep green. Citrus leaves are a dark, shiny green.

Step 3

Feel the texture of the leaf. Citrus leaves are thick and leathery. Apple leaves have a fuzzy underside. Cherry, pear and peach leaves feel smooth.

Step 4

Note how the leaves grow on the stem. Most fruit trees form simple leaves that alternate on the stem. Citrus trees, though, often have a small, narrow leaf called a wing that forms on the stem next to larger leaves.


  • Purdue University Senior Study: Fruits and Nuts
  • "The Garden Primer"; Barbara Damrosch; 1988
Keywords: identifying fruit trees, fruit tree leaves, fruit tree

About this Author

Julie Christensen has been writing for five years. Her work has appeared in "The Friend" and "Western New York Parent" magazines. Her guide for teachers, "Helping Young Children Cope with Grief" will be published this spring. Christensen studied early childhood education at Ricks College and recently returned to school to complete a degree in communications/English.