North America is home to several types of broadleaf trees. They have leaf blades much broader than they are thick and are deciduous, losing their leaves in the fall and remaining without leaves throughout the winter. There are many families of broadleaf trees; some of the more common ones are willow, walnut, birch and elm.
Willows (Salicaceae) are a type of broadleaf tree. They have simple leaves, palmately lobed with stipules at the leaf base. The fruit of the willow is small, and its seeds are wind dispersed. Common willow types include swamp willow (Salix nigra), sometimes known as black willow, gulf black willow or scythe-leaved willow; golden willow (Salix lasiandra), also known as caudate willow, Pacific willow, red willow and whiplash willow; and black willow (Salix gooddingii), sometimes called Dudley willow, Goodding willow, valley willow or western black willow.
Birch trees (Betulaceae) have leaves that are simple and pinnately veined. Flowers are male and female catkins (a dense, cylindrical, drooping cluster), and the fruit of the birch is a small nutlet. The birch family includes black birch (Betula occidentalis), also known as mountain birch, red birch, Rocky Mountain birch, spring birch and water birch; canoe birch (Betula papyrifera), sometimes referred to as paper birch, silver birch or white birch; fire birch (Betula populifolia), also known as gray birch, Oldfield birch, wire birch and white birch; and swap birch (Betula alleghaniensis).
Members of the walnut family (Juglandaseae) have pinnately compound leaves. Walnut trees are well known for their edible fruit. Examples of walnuts include black walnut (Juglans nigra), also commonly known as American walnut and eastern black walnut; California black walnut (Juglans californica); little walnut (Juglans microcapa), sometimes referred to as dwarf walnut, Mexican walnut, river walnut and Texas walnut; and Arizona walnut (Juglans major.)
Elm (Ulmaeae) have simple, pinnately veined leaves. Elm fruits are small samara (a winged fruit containing a single seed). The elm family consists of American elm (Ulmus Americana), sometimes known as Florida elm, soft elm and water elm, and gray elm (Ulmus rubra), often referred to as red elm or slippery elm.
- Photo Credit Shunsuke Yamamoto Photography/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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