Finding Water With Trees
Trees can be used as a navigational tool to lead us to water. There are certain species of trees, that prefer to grow closer to water than others. These trees will serve as our beacon to nearby water.
A good tree identification field guide can be instrumental to helping you identify these tress, that almost always grow near water.
The trees that like to grow in wet areas include the cottonwood, willow, sycamore, river birch, silver maple (river maple), cypress, Carolina Ash or Green Ash trees. If you see these trees in your area, you know there is water nearby.
Cypress and sycamore trees have very unique traits which make them very easy to spot.
The American sycamore is a massive tree and can attain the largest trunk diameter of any of the Eastern U.S. hardwoods. When you add to this the mottled, camouflage appearing bark and the sometimes white, naked upper trunks, this makes them hard to miss. They really stand apart from the rest, which is important when you are looking for water. They are like massive lighthouses, signalling to you, that water is close.
If you do find one of these water-loving species of trees and do not see a body of water, this does not mean that there isn’t water. You may need to do some digging to find the water.
Helpful Tree Identification Tools and Guide
- Ash Tree Identification Guide
- Identify Common American Sycamore
- Michigan State University Extension Tree Identification Key
- Tree Identification Field Guides
Tree Species naming
- Cottonwood (Populus deltoide)
- Willow (Salix – 0ver 400 species)
- Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)
- River birch (Betula nigra)
- Silver maple aka: river maple (Acer saccharinum)
- Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
- Carolina Ash (Fraxinus caroliniana)
- Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)