Schedule – The Tree Course – Level 1  

Tree Identification, Recognition & Forest Ecology
of the Primary Trees of the Great Eastern Forest

 July 28 – August 1, 2021

Wednesday Afternoon – Mid-day Sunday

Day 1 – Wednesday Evening, July 28, 2021  – Overview

2:30 pm to 4:00 pm: Check-In for Lodging Guests. Follow instructions you have received by email to check in to your respective lodges. You will be sent directions and passcode to the key which is secured near each lodge’s main entrance. 

5:00 pm: Welcome and Introductions – Meet at the Appalachian Forest Museum. Introduction to the Arc of Appalachia Preserve System and overview of course. Meet your leaders and colleagues.

6:00 pm Dinner.

After Dinner: Home Sweet Biome, the World’s Invisible Forest. Here’s the big picture view of the world’s temperate broadleaf forest—the biome we will be immersing ourselves in this week, and why it is so under-recognized by scientists and lay citizens alike. We will study its world significance and geographic distribution, and concentrate on its regional expressions in the eastern United States—including what makes the North American representative unique among its sister temperate forests in the world. 

Day 2 – Thursday, July 29, 2021 – Mixed Mesophytic & Old Growth Forests

8:00 am:  Breakfast.

9:15 am: Ohio’s Rich Mixed Mesophytic Forests. Learn the major trees of the beech-maple and mixed mesophytic forest with their beech, maple, ash, black and white oaks, tulip poplar and rich understory associates. We will examine what makes a mature forest identifiable from a disturbed one, and the idealized condition of a true old growth forest. The dynamics of old-growth gap succession will be learned and discussed, as well as animals associated with older forest stands. When you finish with today’s classes, you will be able to learn the dominant trees of Eastern United States by leaf and  bark, from Ohio to Tennessee, from Missouri to Virginia.

12:30 pm: Lunch followed by afternoon break.

3:00 pm: Review: Ohio’s Rich Mixed Mesophytic Forests. Round two! We will review what we learned this morning in a second location so that you can practice, practice, practice!

6:00 pm Dinner.

After Dinner: Review of the Rich Mixed Mesophytic Trees & dominant shrubs. Informal quiz and practice session.

Day 3 – Friday, July 30, 2021 – Fields, Fencerows & Riparian Corridors: Trees of Disturbance & Recovery

8:00 am:  Breakfast.

9:15 am: A Lesson in Succession—Trees of Healing and Recovery. Today we will learn many of our first level succession trees—locusts, redbud, osage orange, cherry, and red cedar –with a nod to the non-native shrubs that pose such challenges  to natural, native succession.

12:30 Lunch

After Lunch: Review of the Trees of Fields and Fencerows. Informal quiz and practice session.

2:00 pm To the River. The Rich Floodplain Forests of the Riparian Zones. In the afternoon we will concentrate on learning the trees of the floodplains, where rich soils are frequently disturbed by flood waters. Here we will walk among the great trees of the disturbance zone where biodiversity is relatively low, but the soils are rich and the trees often towering. Behold the buckeye, sycamores, box elder, black walnut, and cottonwoods of the floodplains, and the pin oaks, shellbarks, and swamp white oaks of the seasonally saturated soils. 

6:30 pm: Dinner.

After Dinner: Review of the Riparian Trees. Informal quiz and practice session.

Day 4 –  Saturday July 31, 2021 – Practice Practice Practice

8:00 am: Breakfast.

9:15 am: Field Studies Applied! Morning Field Trip I. Today we be visiting several different forest locations today to practice our skills, over and over. Learning trees takes A LOT of practice, and you have all day today to apply the knowledge you have learned over the previous two days. We will visit all kinds of forests – mature, transitional, riparian, mesic, on slopes and bluffs – in order to present to you a breadth of application experiences. Your learning will broaden and deepen with each woodlands that is seen with your new “forest literate” eyes.

12:30 Lunch.

After Lunch Quiz: This will be our first formal quiz, self-graded, to see where your strong and weak places are in your learning so that you still have the course’s support to strengthen your learning where you need it the most.

3:00 pm  Field Studies Applied! Morning Field Trip II. 

6:00 pm: Dinner.

After Dinner Walk with a Friend. For everyone interested in participating, we will pair you up with a friend to take an hour’s walk in the woods, seeing what trees you can identify together. Have fun, learn new skills, while amiably debating what you don’t agree on while exploring some of the most beautiful trails at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary.

Day 5 – Sunday, August 1, 2021 – 

8:00 am: Breakfast.

9:30 am: Final Tree Review.  We will take a pleasant stroll to and around the Appalachian Forest Museum, testing your hard-earned mastery of tree recognition. Though a formal quiz, this is a no-stress practicum  You will be checking your own progress, and using the quiz to anchor your new knowledge UNLESS you wish to be certified as mastering Level One in Tree Recognition. Registrants pursuing certification will have their quizzes graded by a course leader or assignee. 

12:30: Lunch

Fond Farewells and Departure. 

Previous Tree Course Participants
Red Oak Leaves
White Oak Acorns
Admiring a Giant Sugar Maple
Big American Beech Tree
Chestnut Burrs
Witch Hazel Flowers
Pignut Hickory Bark
Euonymus Fruit