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How to Identify Trees in Mississippi

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The state of Mississippi is home to many species of trees that are native to this southeastern location. Trees, such as the tulip tree and southern magnolia, thrive in the state’s hardiness zones of 5 through 10. Mississippi's trees successfully grow in the creeks, swamps, streams and other environments of this state, but it can be difficult to name an unknown variety. Fortunately, you can note the distinct characteristics of the Mississippi tree to successfully identify it.

Write down the environment, such as "near a stream," where you find your Mississippi tree. Some varieties such as the red maple are found in older woodlands and both wet and dry soil areas, while others, such as the swamp dogwood, grow in river bottoms, creeks and swamps.

Inspect the tree for flowers and make a note of when these blossoms appear. The pagoda dogwood, for instance, grows whitish-yellow, flat-topped blooms in May and June.

Look to see if the Mississippi tree is deciduous or evergreen. A deciduous variety, such as the ironwood, loses its foliage during the fall season, but an evergreen variety like the titi keeps most of its leaves throughout the months.

Note the colors and shape of the leaves. As an example, the sweetgum tree has purple, yellow and red leaves in the fall that are palmate lobed, which means the foliage has more than one lobe with distinct indentations between each one.

Launch the USDA "Advanced Search" page online to input your notes. There is a link in the Resources section. Select "Mississippi" in the "State and Province" menu and click on the "Tree" option in the "Growth Habit" section. Continue to use the remaining menus to enter your findings and then click the "Display Results" button to come up with a list of potential matches.

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