Woody plants: Is your plant in one of these subgroups?
Please go through the subgroups in order.
Broad-leaved woody plants
Trees, shrubs, and lianas that produce flowers and seeds with carpels
The "angiosperms" produce flowers and seeds enclosed in an ovary. Note if the plant is a tree, shrub or liana. In summer, note leaf size, shape, and arrangement. In winter, note size and arrangement of leaf buds and scars on twigs. Look for leaves on the ground around the base of the plant. Some species have evergreen leaves that stay on all winter. Remember the phrase "madcap horse" (for Maple-Ash-Dogwood CAPrifoliaceae and HORSE-chestnut): these are the only species with opposite leaves.
Young saplings can look like shrubs. Try to find a mature plant that is producing flowers. Some produce tiny, almost needle-like leaves that look like gymnosperm leaves, but these don't usually have fragrant sap.
Video about this subgroupBroad-leaved woody plants
Needle-leaved woody plants
Pines, spruces, larches, cedars, and other conifers
The "gymnosperms" or “conifers” do not have flowers and produce seeds not enclosed in an ovary (the seeds are usually borne in seed cones). Many species produce a sticky resin with a sweet or turpentine smell. Leaves can vary from tiny, overlapping, and scale-like (e.g., northern white cedar) to long, slender, and needle-like (e.g., eastern white pine). If needle-like leaves, note how many grow out of each cluster. Note the texture of bark on trunk and twigs.
Some conifers (e.g., common juniper) can be short shrubs. A few woody angiosperms have very small, narrow leaves (i.e., scale like) but have flowers and lack resin. Most but not all gymnosperms are evergreen: the larch (Larix) is deciduous.
Video about this subgroupNeedle-leaved woody plants
My plant isn't in these subgroups.