Thursdays 2nd – 23rd May 2019. 2.30pm – 6pm, Gosling Room and fieldwork
This four-week course takes place partly in the classroom and partly outdoors in various nearby parks.
Who is the course for?
This is a course in tree identification for beginners and for those with some knowledge. It is for people who want to improve their ability to observe and subsequently verbalise their observations.
What will you learn?
We will be looking at the standard method of grouping trees and aim to cover the difference between broad-leaved trees and conifers, deciduous and evergreen. We will also look at tree reproduction and pollination, tree shape and leaf morphology. Aspects of tree taxonomy (the description, classification, identification and naming of trees) will be explained, including the concepts of genus, species, cultivar and hybrid.
Students will embark on learning a ‘new language’ by becoming familiar with tree terminology. Tips on how to make a collection of dried pressed leaves will be discussed.
How is the course taught?
Each session will be divided into an initial classroom period followed by a visit to one of the parks, where we will put into action what we have learned. Classroom teaching will include PowerPoint presentations where useful. Some drawing might be included, depending on the participants. Teaching will be interactive with high student participation. Students will be encouraged to share their observations, make comments, ask questions and engage in discussions.
Students will be encouraged to consolidate what they have learned between the weekly sessions.
The parks we will be visiting (Waterlow Park and Kenwood) have more than 100 different trees. You will learn to identify a number of them accurately.
In order to do this, the students will develop skills, such as practical precise observation, comparison and the use of a methodology.
What to bring
Please bring a hand lens of magnification x10 and a notebook and pencil.
If you have a tree identification book, please bring it to class. If you are thinking of acquiring one, Collins Tree Guide by Owen Johnson is recommended.
About the tutor
Bettina Metcalfe is a dendrologist with a keen interest in observing and identifying trees in ornamental settings in historic parks and gardens. She is a professional teacher and has extensive experience of leading tree study walks. Bettina is an active member of the International Dendrology Society.