Identification of Woody Plants Workshop

June 28, 2018 • 9:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
Nescopeck State Park • Drums, PA  18222

Instructor: Tim Block, Ph.D., The John J. Willaman Chair of Botany, Morris Arboretum, University of Pennsylvania

Cost: $ 50.00. Register here now!

Timothy A. Block, Ph.D., The John J. Willaman Chair of Botany
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania

The purpose of this workshop is to introduce the participants to methods for correctly identifying trees, shrubs, and woody vines to species. Workshop participants will learn basic woody plant morphology, use of botanical keys, how to make proper plant specimens, and how to keep track of, and share, your observations and field notes. Another goal of this workshop is to leave participants with a better understanding of how even small variations in habitat can influence what plants grow where, and foster a greater appreciation for the ecological roles and diversity of woody plants in the wild.

Many people are familiar with a number of our more common woody plants (especially trees), but few realize that Pennsylvania is home to nearly 500 species of trees, shrubs, and woody vines! Due to its diversity of habitats, Nescopeck State Park is home to more than 140 species of woody plants. While we won’t see them all in one day, we will have a chance to see many of them.

No prior knowledge of plant structure will be assumed. Most woody plant identification is based on details of leaf and stem variation. Magnification of small details is often necessary. Please bring along a hand lens or small magnifying glass if you have one. All of the printed material we will use will be provided.

Much of the workshop will be outdoors at various sites in the park, on and off trails. Please wear sturdy footwear, and come prepared for whatever weather awaits us.


9:00 – 9:15 a.m. – Introductions and Overview of the Day

9:15 – 10:30 – Introduction to woody plant morphology and the characters necessary for accurate species identification; using a dichotomous key

10:30 – 11:45 – Identification group practice indoors with live material

11:45– 12:15 – Lunch. Please plan to bring your own lunch.

12:15 – 4:45 – Identification outdoors at various sites; making specimens; keeping good field notes