Stories Through Nature: Leaf & Tree Identification

Banner: Stories Through Nature - a project of the 2020 Youth Forest Council

Written by Evelyn; October 23, 2020


Hello you. I heard you are interested in Leaf and Tree Identification! You are in the right place. ?

First, I want to share the resources I have used to identify my collection of leaves so you can later identify yours!  

Second, pick leaves you like and are interested in learning about! As you will see from some of my past and future posts, the leaves hold a special meaning to me — whether it be the first red leaf I had seen or a leaf with a gorgeous, shiny black color I was curious about. Also, keep track of the leaf's surroundings.

Some questions to ask yourself for better understanding your leaves are: 

  • What park were the leaves in? 

  • What kind of environment was around it? 

  • What season did you pick this leaf in? What was the weather like? 

  • Was the leaf damaged? Were there small ecosystems on or within the leaf? 

Remember: follow all Austin Public Health guidelines when in parks. Make sure to keep a 6-foot distance from others and wear a mask. A bottle of hand sanitizer won’t hurt either. ?

Third, I strongly recommend having a journal or paper around to keep track of the characteristics of the leaf as you follow along on either of the website tools I listed above. This could also help you retain the information better.

Fourth, have fun with it! I decided to take a more artistic approach by doing leaf rubbings and labeling the characteristics on paper. Learning about nature can be fun! 

How to create a leaf rubbing: 

  1. Have a blank piece of paper, a crayon, a leaf, and a flat surface ready. 

  1. Place the leaf under the blank piece of paper 

  1. Using the side of your crayon (or pencil/colored pencil), rub it on the paper while holding the paper and leaf in place 

  1. After rubbing/coloring, you should have a beautiful traced leaf on the once blank paper! 



Stories Through Nature is a project of the 2020 Youth Forest Council. You can learn more about the program at