Key to the Trees of Wisconsin

Quercus. Some species are very challenging, especially the group of Q. coccinea, Q. palustris, Q. velutina and Q. ellipsoidalis. The first two are very rare in southern Wisconsin. The last two are more widely distributed and can be very difficult to distinguish, especially in dried specimens. Reports of these species in Wisconsin without supporting vouchers should be viewed with skepticism in areas where the ranges of two or more species overlap. Overlap of characters within the various groups of species is common in the written descriptions, and in my experience the reality is even worse. However, some individuals do fall squarely within the realm of each species description and the keys will work often enough to perpetuate this system, especially if the habitat preferences and published ranges are kept in mind during the identification process.

52. Leaves sharply lobed, often prolonged into at least a short hair-like tip.

52. Leaves bluntly lobed (in the very shallowly lobed Q. muehlenbergii the lobes may be more or less acute in shape, but they end in a small blunt "callus" rather than a hairlike tip). In addition to the blunt-lobed oaks, this path also includes the mulberries, Morus alba and M. rubra.


Glossary of terms

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