Botanical and Common Tree Names

What is the name of that tree?

Tree Identification

There is only one BOTANICAL (scientific) name for each species and it aids us significantly in accurately communicating with others about a tree. The COMMON name of a tree can sometimes be HELPFUL OR CONFUSING when trying to find out specific information about a tree.

For example:

Two of the common tree names for Acer negundo are boxelder and black ash. These common tree names might be misleading, since it is neither an elder nor an ash. On the other hand, it is also commonly known as an ash leaf maple which could be helpful when identifying the tree by it’s leaf, because the leaves do look more like an ash leaf than a maple leaf.

It’s scientific name is Acer negundo and therefore, with a quick search, we are able to identify the tree as a maple (Acer is a genus of trees we call maple). Now that we know the “universal” name we are able to communicate with others about a tree’s unique characteristics.

*AKA: Ash Maple, Ash-leaf Maple, Black Ash, Cutleaf Maple, Cut-leaved Maple, Stinking Ash, Red River Maple, California Boxelder, Sugar Ash, Three-leaved Maple, and Western Boxelder.

Here is our list of both names for many trees commonly found in the Rocky Mountain area:

 

Botanical Tree Names
A

  • Abies concolor ……………………….…… White Fir or Concolor Fir
  • Abies lasiocarpa …………………….……. Subalpine Fir
  • Acer glabrum ………………………..…….. Rocky Mountain Maple
  • Acer ginnala …………………………..…… Amur Maple
  • Acer negundo …………………………..…. Boxelder
  • Acer rubrum …………………………..…… Red Maple
  • Acer saccharinum …………………..…….. Silver Maple
  • Acer saccharum ………………………..…. Sugar Maple
  • Aesculus hippocastanum ………….…..… Horsechestnut
  • Aesculus glabra ……………………………. Ohio Buckeye
  • Ailanthus altissima ………………………… Tree of Heaven
  • Alnus tenuifolia …………………………….. Thinleaf Alder

B-C

  • Betula nigra ………………………………… River Birch
  • Betula occidentalis ………………………… Western Water Birch
  • Betula pendula (Bentula verrucosa)… European White Birch
  • Catalpa speciosa ………………….…….…. Western Catalpa
  • Celtis occidentalis …………………………. Common Hackberry
  • Cercis canadensis ……………………….… Eastern Redbud
  • Crataegus ……………………………………. Hawthorn

E-G

J

  • Julans nigra …………………………..……… Black Walnut
  • Juniperus chinensis …………………….…. Upright Juniper
  • Juniperus osteosperma ……………..…… Utah Juniper
  • Juniperus scopulorum ………………….. Rocky Mountain Juniper
  • Juniperus virginiana …………………..….. Eastern Red Cedar

K-M

  • Koelreuteria paniculata ………..…… Goldenraintree
  • Malus ……………………………………….. Apple
  • Malus ……………………………………….. Crabapple
  • Morus species ………………………..…… Mulberry

P

  • Picea abies …………………………..….. Norway Spruce
  • Picea engelmannii ………………..…. Engelmann Spruce
  • Picea pungens ………………………..… Colorado Blue Spruce
  • Pinus aristata ………………………..…. Bristlecone Pine
  • Pinus contorta ………………………….. Lodgepole Pine
  • Pinus edulus ……………………………. Pinyon Pine
  • Pinus flexilis …………………………….. Limber Pine
  • Pinus nigra ……………………………… Austrian Pine
  • Pinus ponderosa …………………….. Ponderosa Pine
  • Pinus strobus ……………………….… Eastern White Pine
  • Pinus sylvestris …………………………. Scotch Pine
  • Platanus occidentalis …………….… American Sycamore
  • Platanus x acerifolia ……………….…. London Plane
  • Populus alba ……………………………. White Poplar
  • Populus alba ‘Pyramidalis’ ……….. Bolleana Poplar
  • Populus angustifolia …………………. Narrowleaf Cottonwood
  • Populus nigra ‘Italica’ ………….…… Lombardy Poplar
  • Populus sargentii …………………….. Plains Cottonwood
  • Populus tremuloides …………………. Quaking Aspen
  • Prunus americana ……………………. American Plum
  • Prunus cerasifera ‘Newport’ ….…. Newport Plum
  • Prunus persica ……………………..…… Peach
  • Prunus virginiana ……………………….. Chokecherry
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii ………………. Douglas Fir
  • Pyrus calleryana ………………………. Callery Pear

Q

  • Quercus bicolor …………………………. Swamp White Oak
  • Quercus gambelii ………………………. Gambel Oak
  • Quercus macrocarpa ……………..….. Bur Oak
  • Quercus palustris …………………….… Pin Oak
  • Quercus rubra ……………………………. Northern Red Oak

R

  • Rhus glabra …………………………….… Smooth Sumac
  • Rhus typhina ………………………….…. Staghorn Sumac
  • Robinia x ambigua ‘Idahoensis’..… Idaho Flowering Locust
  • Robinia neomexicana ……………….. New Mexico Locust
  • Robinia pseudoacacia ……………..…. Black Locust

S

  • Salix amygdaloides …………………… Peach Leaf Willow
  • Salix babylonica ………………………. Weeping Willow
  • Salix matsudana ……………………… Globe Willow
  • Sophora japonica …………………….. Japanese Pagodatree
  • Sorbus aucuparia …………………….. European Mountainash
  • Syringa vulgaris ………………………. Common Lilac

T

  • Thuja occidentalis …………………… American Arborvitae
  • Tilia americana ……………………….. American Linden
  • Tilia cordata …………………………… Littleleaf Linden

U

Common Tree Names

A

  • American Arborvitae …… Thuja occidentalis
  • American Elm ……………… Ulmus americana
  • American Linden …………. Tilia americana
  • American Plum …………….Prunus americana
  • American Sycamore ……..Platanus occidentalis
  • Amur Maple ……………….. Acer ginnala
  • Apple ………………………….. Malus
  • Austrian Pine ………………. Pinus nigra

B

C-D

E

  • Eastern Red Cedar ………. Juniperus virginiana
  • Eastern Redbud ………….. Cercis canadensis
  • Eastern White Pine ……… Pinus strobus
  • Engelmann Spruce ……… Picea engelmannii
  • English Elm …………………. Ulmus procera
  • European Mountainash . Sorbus aucuparia
  • European White Birch …. Betula pendula (Bentula verrucosa)

G

  • Gambel Oak ………………… Quercus gambelii
  • Ginkgo ………………………… Ginkgo biloba
  • Globe Willow ………………. Salix matsudana
  • Goldenraintree ……………. Koelreuteria paniculata
  • Green Ash …………………… Fraxinus pennsylvanica

H-K

  • Hawthorn ……………………. Crataegus
  • Honeylocust ………………… Gleditsia triacanthos
  • Horsechestnut …………….. Aesculus hippocastanum
  • Idaho Flowering Locust .. Robinia x ambigua ‘Idahoensis’
  • Japanese Pagodatree ….. Sophora japonica
  • Kentucky Coffeetree …… Gymnocladus dioica

L

  • Limber Pine …………………. Pinus flexilis
  • Littleleaf Linden ………….. Tilia cordata
  • Lodgepole Pine …………… Pinus contorta
  • Lombardy Poplar ………… Populus nigra ‘Italica’
  • London Plane ……………… Platanus x acerifolia

M-N

  • Mulberry ……………………… Morus species
  • Narrowleaf Cottonwood . Populus angustifolia
  • New Mexico Locust ……… Robinia neomexicana
  • Newport Plum …………….. Prunus cerasifera ‘Newport’
  • Northern Red Oak ……….. Quercus rubra
  • Norway Spruce ……………. Picea abies

O-P

  • Ohio Buckeye ………………. Aesculus glabra
  • Peach ………………………….. Prunus persica
  • Peach Leaf Willow ……….. Salix amygdaloides
  • Pin Oak ……………………….. Quercus palustris
  • Pinyon Pine …………………. Pinus edulus
  • Plains Cottonwood ………. Populus sargentii
  • Ponderosa Pine …………… Pinus ponderosa

Q-R

  • Quaking Aspen …………….. Populus tremuloides
  • Red Maple ……………………. Acer rubrum
  • River Birch ……………………. Betula nigra
  • Rocky Mountain Juniper .. Juniperus scopulorum
  • Rocky Mountain Maple … Acer glabrum
  • Russian Olive ……………….. Elaeagnus angustifolia

S-T

  • Scotch Pine ………………….. Pinus sylvestris
  • Siberian Elm ………………… Ulmus pumila
  • Silver Maple …………………. Acer saccharinum
  • Smooth Sumac …………….. Rhus glabra
  • Staghorn Sumac …………… Rhus typhina
  • Subalpine Fir ………………… Abies lasiocarpa
  • Sugar Maple …………………. Acer saccharum
  • Swamp White Oak ………… Quercus bicolor
  • Thinleaf Alder ………………. Alnus tenuifolia
  • Tree of Heaven …………….. Ailanthus altissima

U-W

  • Upright Juniper …………….. Juniperus chinensis
  • Utah Juniper ………………… Juniperus osteosperma
  • Weeping Willow …………… Salix babylonica
  • Western Catalpa ………….. Catalpa speciosa
  • Western Water Birch ……. Betula occidentalis
  • White Ash ……………………. Fraxinus americana
  • White Fir ……………………… Abies concolor
  • White Poplar ……………….. Populus alba

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