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Hogback Community College                                                    TREE IDENTIFICATION IN THE HOGBACK ECOREGION

Whether you are managing land, cutting firewood, searching for wildlife, or just enjoying the beauty and diversity of trees, being able to identify trees is both useful and fun. It also fosters greater understanding of our local biodiversity, ecology, and improved stewardship of our local landscapes. This course will introduce you to year-round tree identification.

This course is intended as an introduction for beginners or those willing to share their skills and enthusiasm with beginners. You will learn to recognize some of the basic characteristics of bark, tree form, twigs, buds, leaves, fruit, and habitat to consider when trying to identify native trees in their natural settings. You’ll become familiar with the common names of many of the more widespread species and will be introduced to some of the excellent resources available to help you continue to develop skills on your own.

We will spend four Saturday mornings (with Sunday raind-dates) traveling by foot in four local woodlands from the Lake Champlain Basin to the Appalachian Gap, identifying and discussing trees. We will begin with two walks in the winter to examine bark, form, habitat, twigs, and buds and follow that with two walks when the trees have their leaves. Excursions will be relaxed and slow, but on and off trail. In between meetings you will have species sheets to complete—which serve as a vehicle for learning more about the natural history and biology of the species that we are observing. You will also be asked to get out on your own between class meetings and keep a list of the tree species you see, along with their key field marks.

 


About the Instructor

Jim Andrews is a full time herpetologist and conservationist with a life-long recreational and professional interest in the natural history and identification of trees. He has lead tree identification field trips in Vermont for a variety of organizations. He teaches herpetology and field ornithology as an adjunct professor at UVM and performs biological surveys of many taxonomic groups as a private consultant. His goal is to create enjoyable and interesting field experiences through which the teacher and students can learn together and as a result, become better stewards of our environment.

 

Course Details
Date, Time, and Location of instruction:

 

Saturday, March 1, 2014 (rain-date Sunday, March 2)
Time: 8am – noon
Location: Meet at the green in the center of Bristol (Park on Rt 116 near gazebo).
Topic: Using bark, buds, form, and habitat to identify trees in winter. Introduce some useful guides. Tree list and species sheets for selected species.
Site: Brynn Family Forest on Plank Road
Saturday, March 22, 2014 (rain-date Sunday, March 23)
Time: 8am – noon
Location: Meet at Park and Ride at Junction of Rtes 7 and 22A in Vergennes
Topic: Using bark, buds, form, and habitat to identify trees in early spring. Continue tree list and species sheets for selected species.
Site: Buck Mountain in Waltham
Saturday, May 24, 2014 (rain-date Sunday, May 25)
Time: 8am – noon
Location: Meet at the green in the center of Bristol.
Topic: Using leaves, bark, buds, form, and habitat to identify trees in late spring. Continue tree list and species sheets for selected species.
Site: Waterworks property in Bristol
Saturday, June 28, 2014 (rain-date Sunday, June 29)
Time: 8am – noon
Location: Meet at the green in the center of Bristol.
Topic: Using leaves, bark, buds, form, and habitat to identify higher-elevation tree species in summer. Continue a lifetime of tree ID and stewardship.
Site: Camelís Hump State Forest in Buelís Gore near the Appalachian Gap.

 

Minimum and maximum number of students
Minimum: 8 Maximum:15


Fee: $160
Credit Hours*: 1 (16 hours of instruction)
*While our courses offer the structure and content of college courses, we are not seeking accreditation for Hogback Community College, nor do we currently offer credits for transfer to other educational institutions. Many teachers have taken Hogback Community College courses as part of their Professional Development requirements.