Winter Tree Identification Workshop Recently Held For Area Residents –– U of I Extension News, March 1, 2017

Winter Tree Identification Workshop

Chris Evans, Research Forester for University of Illinois Extension recently presented a workshop on Winter Tree Identification.  The workshop had over 30 participants from Bond, Clinton, Marion, Jefferson and Washington Counties. The cool temperatures and intermittent rain did not deter them from learning in an outdoor classroom.

The class was held at the Washington County Conservation area south of Nashville. The Conservation Area includes a seven-mile trail through the 1440 acres of the park which includes forest, lake shore and fields.   The class gathered under a shelter to receive the basic techniques used to identify trees where participants learned the vocabulary and terminology needed to use a dichotomous key. A dichotomous key is a tool that asks questions in a series of two.  The process of eliminating one possibility as you progress will eventually lead to identifying a given tree.  These keys are also available for wildflowers, mammals, fish and other things in nature to aid the student in properly identifying items in nature.

Participants in the U of I Extension Winter Tree Identification workshop used their new identification skills during a hike with Forester Chris Evans.

After the classroom portion of the workshop participants trekked into the woods putting their new skills to work using the dichotomous key.  Evans also shares additional ways of identifying trees by observing additional clues such as habit, location of the tree, fragrance of the bark, overall shape of the tree, carryover fruit and more.  Evans describes this as his ‘Gestalt’ method of obtaining clues that assist in the proper identification of a tree.

Extension provides many opportunities for nature study through its programing and workshops including a ten week Master Naturalist program which begins August 25, 2017.

Please contact Gail DeVilbiss at University of Illinois Extension at 618-526-4551 if you have questions or suggestions for future programing.

Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame

The Illinois 4-H Foundation welcomes your participation in honoring extraordinary members of our 4-H family by submitting their name for the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame. Past Washington County recipients include Ron Going, Dwight Shubert, Bill and Janet Windler, Donna Hesker, and Glenn Brammeier.

Each county submits one nomination each year.  The public is invited to send suggestions to the Washington County Extension Office. Your honoree should either be a former    4-H member in your respective county, a current or  ormer 4-H volunteer or supporter, or a past 4-H or Extension staff member.

The Illinois 4-H Foundation will invite them to the Illinois 4-H Family Event at the State Fair in August, where all inductees in attendance will be recognized as during the program.

    University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, contact the extension office at (618)327-8881.