Botanical and Common Tree Names

What is the name of that tree?

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,Tree Identification 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

B-C

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

P

Q

R

  • Rhus glabra ~ Smooth Sumac
  • Rhus typhina ~ Staghorn Sumac
  • Robinia x ambigua ‘Idahoensis
  • Robinia neomexicana ~ New Mexico Locust
  • Robinia pseudoacacia ~ Black Locust

S

T

U

Common Tree Names
A

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

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
  • 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

Q-R

S-T

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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