Field Guide

Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines

Showing 1 - 10 of 13 results
Media
Illustration of cherrybark oak leaf.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Quercus pagoda
Description
The bark of cherrybark oak looks like the bark of a cherry tree. When you hold one of the leaves with the leaf stalk upward, the pointed lobes make the leaf resemble an outline of a Chinese pagoda. This oak grows in Missouri's Bootheel.
Media
Illustration of northern red oak leaf.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Quercus rubra
Description
Northern red oak is a favorite for planting in streets and parks and is one of the most widespread and commercially important of the oaks.
Media
Illustration of Nuttall’s oak leaf.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Quercus texana
Description
In Missouri, Nuttall's oak grows naturally only in Bootheel. With its limited range, and with steady destruction of its habitat, it has become rare and imperiled within our borders.
Media
A closeup of an acorn
Species Types
Scientific Name
Quercus spp.
Description
Oaks are the most important group of trees in Missouri, in both human and ecosystem value. They dominate most of the forests, woodlands, and savannas in the state. Learn more about our 22 species.
Media
Illustration of overcup oak leaf.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Quercus lyrata
Description
Overcup oak is fairly easy to identify. The acorns are almost completely covered by their knobby cups. The leaves have long, narrow lobes and wide sinuses. In Missouri, it grows naturally only in wet forests along the Mississippi and Meramec rivers.
Media
Illustration of pin oak leaf.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Quercus palustris
Description
Pin oak is one of the easiest trees to recognize by its shape alone: It has a tall, straight trunk, an overall pyramidal or conical shape and, most notably, the branches on the lower third of the tree angle downward.
Media
Illustration of Shumard oak leaf.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Quercus shumardii
Description
Shumard oak is worth knowing: it can rise to 100 feet in height and gain a trunk diameter of 5 feet, with wide-spreading, muscular boughs.
Media
Illustration of southern red oak leaf.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Quercus falcata
Description
This tree has two names as well as two leaf types! In Missouri, southern red oak, or Spanish oak, occurs natively only in our southeast and southernmost counties.
Media
Illustration of swamp white oak leaf.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Quercus bicolor
Description
A beautiful tree, swamp white oak features bicolored leaves that are shiny, dark green above and downy white below. When a breeze sets them in motion, their wavy or lobed shapes add a calm grace to a summer's hike.
Media
Illustration of sweet gum leaves and fruit
Species Types
Scientific Name
Liquidambar styraciflua
Description
The star-shaped leaves of sweet gum become even more striking in the autumn, when they turn various shades of gold, red, pink, and purple, often on the same tree — sometimes even on the same leaf!
See Also

About Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines in Missouri

There are no sharp dividing lines between trees, shrubs, and woody vines, or even between woody and nonwoody plants. “Wood” is a type of tissue made of cellulose and lignin that many plants develop as they mature — whether they are “woody” or not. Trees are woody plants over 13 feet tall with a single trunk. Shrubs are less than 13 feet tall, with multiple stems. Vines require support or else sprawl over the ground.