Mariton: Tree Walk On Sunday

October 17, 2014

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager.

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(Photo by Carole Mebus)

I look forward to the Tree Walk on Sunday.  The fall colors won’t be peak, but they are beautiful.  Besides enjoying a walk in the woods, I plan to show people the clues that I use to identify trees.  Besides leaves, you can identify trees using bark, shapes and whole array of things.

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I spent a lot of time roaming the woods with my Grandpa when I was a kid.  He was a farmer and a “woodsman”.  I don’t remember the bits of information that he imparted on our rambles, but I surely absorbed some of them.  In my first dendrology class in college, my professor was bowled over that I could identify trees off in the distance just by their shape or some general impression that I noticed.  (Thanks Gramps!)   My professor had studied with Burton Barnes and Ed Voss, two great Michigan botanists, and I tried to absorb everything she told us about trees.  Since then, I have spent time afield with some “really good” tree folks, including Dave Steckel in NLT’s Development Department.  Dave and others have added to my bag of tricks for identifying trees.  I still feel I am the student, but I have learned enough to share with other students.