How do you identify a tree in winter? Volunteers attend tree ID course
So how can you identify a tree when the leaves have gone and you are faced with a seemingly lack of key features. It turns out that there are a few ways that trees can be identified during the winter months, by observing tree location and the surrounding environment, by studying the buds closely, by looking for fruit, seeds, nuts, shells (and of course fallen leaves!) and by appreciating the overall tree shape. Last weekend volunteers learnt all this by attending a winter tree identification course at Belton House organised for Woodland Trust volunteers.
Led by trainer Edward Mills, the group first looked at a range of twig samples. With the use of hand lenses, help from Edward and following a key the group practised identifying the trees that the twigs came from. Key features to look out for included the presence of thorns and ridges, and on the buds the presence of scales and hairs.
In the afternoon the group were able to put their newly learnt skills into practise by exploring the Belton parkland and looking at the trees there, finding some impressive hawthorn, beech, willow and alder trees, amongst others.
Thanks to Edward for leading three training courses for us this year at Belton.