This course is now fully booked.

Most of us know which tree is which in summer, but how about learning to do it in winter? Without their leaves and flowers, identifying deciduous trees in winter can be very challenging, but once you understand what to look for, it all becomes quite accessible. If all the winter trees look the same to you, then come on this course, where we will look closely at features of buds and twigs, using a hand lens, in order to identify the more common species, even when they are winter-bare. We will be working from the FSC AIDGAP: Winter tree identification guide, a copy of which will be provided, and which is yours to keep (RRP £7.00). This is a practical, hands-on course which is suitable for complete beginners: dress warmly, as we will be working outside for part of the day, no matter what the weather!

Please bring a packed lunch with you.

Tutor: Rachel Cassidy

Rachel Cassidy is a Professional Gardener, Plantsmith, Field Botanist, Consultant Forensic Horticulturalist, gardening Journalist, and Author, having published over two dozen Botany and Gardening books, including introductions to identifying Conifers and Broadleaved Trees. In addition, she writes regularly about gardening on her website, .Rachel makes it her mission to demystify botany for beginners and improvers, aiming to simplify, without dumbing down. Trees have been her passion for many years, and she loves to pass on her knowledge and enthusiasm for these gentle giants of the landscape!

Example Timetable

09.30 - Arrival, tea, coffee

10:00 - Welcome and introduction. Course outline, aims and objectives.

10:15 - 13:00 Morning Session
What do we mean by Broadleaf trees
The first rule of Botany
ID v Recognise: difference between them, when to use which method
Reference books: how to get the best from them
ID essentials: leaf type, arrangement, margin and shape
Two more rules of Botany
Botanical Keying: the essential skill! Overview.
Limitations of Keys: working from the foldout with practical samples
Short field trip

13:00 - 13:30 Lunch break

13:30 – 15:50 Latin Is Not Your Enemy
The Naming Of Plants
ID v Recognise: now we can cheat!
Field trip.

15:50 - Course summary and review
16:00 - Course ends

This is an outline programme and may be subject to change according to the weather, requirements of the group or access restrictions to field sites on the day of the course. Our courses include some classroom sessions but field visits may be a few hours long and involve walking over uneven ground.

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport

Before You Attend

What to bring

  • Warm outdoor clothing and suitable footwear
  • Packed lunch
  • Notebook and pencil
  • Small bag to carry personal items
  • Any tree ID guides that you have and a x10 hand lens if you have one.