How to Identify Ohio Flowering Tree Species


Several types of flowering trees in Ohio burst into bloom in the spring months, providing color throughout the countryside of the Buckeye State. Among them are the flowering dogwood, the American crabapple, the paw paw, the tuliptree and many others. Identify the flowering trees of Ohio with your ability to distinguish their features from one another. Look closely at all aspects of the tree as the seasons progress.

Step 1

Estimate the height of the tree. Some of Ohio's flowering trees are no taller than large shrubs. Among these are the flowering dogwood and the paw paw, which grow to heights of 15 and 25 feet, respectively. Other flowering species in Ohio grow to great heights, such as the tuliptree, a type that can exceed well over 100 feet.

Step 2

Examine the leaves of flowering tree species in Ohio to recognize them. Consider the color and texture of the leaf, its shape, its size, and the length of its stem. Taking the northern catalpa as an example, you would discover it has green foot-long leaves shaped as a heart arranged in a circular pattern on the stem.

Step 3

Study the flowers you find on Ohio's trees. Observe the petals, look at the colors, smell the flowers, measure their size and look for any outstanding features. For example, sweet crabapple has fragrant blossoms that are pinkish to white, 1 1/2-inches wide and they will grow in clusters from three to six.

Step 4

Look at the fruit the flowers produce. Deliberate on their shapes and colors. Dogwood flowers turn into bright red berries, while those of the tuliptree changing into a brownish fruit shaped like a cone that disintegrates into the individual seeds.

Step 5

Inspect the bark of the tree, looking for such traits as color and overall texture. Notice that on some trees the color and texture when the tree is young differs from when the species is mature. Consider the cucumbertree, a type of magnolia that has gray, smooth bark when immature but dark gray, furrowed bark when it ages.

Step 6

Check the flowering trees for any other special features that can aid you in their identification. Specific leaf shapes like those of the tuliptree, which has leaves that look like a cutout of a tulip, can immediately help you recognize a tree. The long, sharp thorns on a hawthorn tree or an American plum tree help indicate what they are. The positioning of the flowers of a redbud, which grow not only on the ends but also on the inner portion of the branches, allows you to identify the tree.


  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources
  • "National Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees, Eastern Region;" Elbert Little; 2008
Keywords: Ohio flowering tree identification, identify Ohio trees, flowering tree features Ohio

About this Author

John has written thousands of articles for Demand Studios, Associated Content and The Greyhound Review. A Connecticut native, John has written extensively about sports, fishing, and nature.