Winter Trees - Identify Trees by Their Shape

We identified trees by their shape and painted winter tree silhouettes.

In the spring, summer and fall many trees can be easily identified by their leaves and fruit, but in winter when the leaves of deciduous trees fall to the ground the challenge is greater. The simple children's picture book Winter Trees describes how to identify several common trees in winter by their shape and bark.

After reading the book, we took a second look at several trees we were familiar with.

 The apple trees had "spooky" branches with sharp bends.

 The alder trees had multiple trunks and were shaped like pointy ovals.

 The oak tree had a very round shape.

 The maple was shaped like the arch of a Gothic window with it's pointy top.

 The magnolia looked like an umbrella since the  branches were much thicker near the ends.

 The birch trees had a V shape since most had double trunks.

 The silver lime trees were very triangular.

The horse chestnut trees were oval shaped.

Tree Silhouettes

The silhouettes were started by lightly sketching the shape of the tree on the watercolor paper. The tree above is an Oak and therefore has a round shape.

Next, the trunk was lightly drawn, and big branches seen in the photos were attached to the trunk. From there, small branches were added.

 Once the sketches were complete, they were colored with black sharpie markers.

Finally, a line was drawn across the page to represent the ground and the backgrounds were painted with watercolor paints.

Silver Lime Tree Silhouette (daughter age 12)

 Oak Tree Silhouette (by mom)

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  1. I love this! It is a wonderful thing to do during the winter!!

  2. What a great idea! We do lots of tree ID in the green months but I hadn't thought of teaching the kids the shapes during this time of year. Pinning and sharing, as I so often do from your site. :)


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