Woody Plants in Winter--A Self-guided Course

  • Tree Buds in Winter

Are you interested in seeing the winter forest as more than a grey-brown woody maze? This free Winter Botany Workshop is designed to help you become familiar with the identification of woody plants in winter.

The workshop, piloted last year, is offered again in collaboration with the Town of Chatham Recreation Department and PS21 from Jan 15 – March 20. The workshop has a flexible format, allowing for completely self-directed learning, participation in outdoor in-person sessions, or a combination of the two. It uses a holistic approach, considering clues given by the habitat, the shape of the plant, the bark, the buds, its fallen leaves/fruits, its smell, and more... Customized online learning materials (https://hvfarmscape.org/WinterWoodies) are matched with flagged trees and shrubs along the trails at Crellin Park and PS21 in Chatham. This enables participants to work with the materials at their own pace and to learn how to recognize 30 different species of trees and shrubs in the winter. The materials can also be used for family-friendly out-door activities. For example, the maps of flagged trees could serve as the basis for “tree treasure hunts”.

Three outdoor sessions at the same locations will be guided by Conrad and Claudia Vispo (Saturdays, Jan. 29, Feb. 12, and Feb. 26; 1-3pm). These will parallel the three installments of the do-it-yourself course. To reserve your spot for the free outdoor sessions and to learn about the Covid protocol, contact fep@hawthornevalleyfarm.org.

For those who used these materials for self-directed learning last year, we hope this serves as a chance for review; for those undertaking this for the first time, we hope it’s a doorway to a new world!

For more information please reach out to Conrad Vispo at conrad@hawthornevalleyfarm.org.