Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Identify White Flowering Trees in Michigan

...
dogwood image by rebekah gonzalez from Fotolia.com

White flowering trees make attractive landscape additions, but you need to identify the tree if you want to plant one yourself. Michigan native trees with white flowers include the staghorn sumac, black cherry, catalpa, Kentucky coffee tree, shadberry and dogwood. Knowing flower color alone won't help you identify the tree correctly. Note the time of year you found the flowering tree then record data on the tree's other features. Michigan State University offers Michigan native tree identification tools that will help you determine what tree you've found, so you can obtain it for your yard.

Examine the flowers on your tree, noting their size, shape, fragrance and number of petals. Record this data in a notebook for use in identifying your tree later.

Notice how the leaves are arrange on the stem. Are they directly opposite one another (opposite) or staggered (alternate)? What color and shape are the leaves? Record this information.

Take a picture of the tree's leaves, flowers, bark and overall appearance. You'll use the images later when comparing your data with that of Michigan's flowering trees to make a positive identification.

Work through the checklist provided by Michigan State University to narrow down the possible matches (see Resources). Enter in data on the leaf arrangement and shape. If you're unclear about a terminology they use, Clemson University provides diagrams that illustrate horticultural terminology (see Resources).

  • Notice how the leaves are arrange on the stem.
  • If you're unclear about a terminology they use, Clemson University provides diagrams that illustrate horticultural terminology (see Resources).

Compare the image of any matching trees with your photograph to confirm a match.

Tip

Ask a Michigan Master Gardener for help if you cannot identify your white flowering tree after this work. They're trained in tree and flower identification, and each Michigan county has a Master Gardener Association (see Resources).

Related Articles

Hardwood Tree Leaf Identification
Hardwood Tree Leaf Identification
Toothed-Tree Leaf Identification
Toothed-Tree Leaf Identification
Identification Guide for Flowering Trees
Identification Guide for Flowering Trees
What Tree Has Fuzzy Pink Blooms?
What Tree Has Fuzzy Pink Blooms?
Tree and Leaf Identification
Tree and Leaf Identification
Native Hawaiian Flowering Trees
Native Hawaiian Flowering Trees
How to Identify Oak Trees in Georgia
How to Identify Oak Trees in Georgia
How to Identify Oak Trees in West Kentucky
How to Identify Oak Trees in West Kentucky
How To Identify a Tree in Arizona
How To Identify a Tree in Arizona
Princess Kay Plum Tree Help
Princess Kay Plum Tree Help
How to Identify Trees in Mississippi
How to Identify Trees in Mississippi
How to Care for a Flowering Plum Tree
How to Care for a Flowering Plum Tree
How to Identify Trees by Bark
How to Identify Trees by Bark
What is the Growth Rate of a Holly Tree?
What is the Growth Rate of a Holly Tree?
How To Tell What Type of Tree I Have
How To Tell What Type of Tree I Have
How to Identify a White Flowering Tree
How to Identify a White Flowering Tree
Garden Guides
×