November is an irresistible time to turn our attention to our native trees. At this time our broad-leaved trees have just lost their blaze of colour and the conifers stand out in majestic contrast. But by late November we can no longer rely solely on the foliage and fruits, we must now look to twig formation and winter buds to help us identify these important members of our natural heritage.
Depending on weather conditions, much of the day will be spent in the classroom, sorting through specimens and getting to grips with the terminology of the features of the bare stems, the winter buds and (in the case of our few conifers) needle arrangement and cones/berries. We shall also practise working with different keys to identification. Simplified keys will be introduced. Regardless of the weather, we shall also spend plenty of time exploring the Garden for our native trees in order to put into practice what we have learned.
Be prepared for short bursts of brisk walking whilst outdoors. However, there will be longer periods of standing still while studying different tree specimens and, whatever the weather, you may become cold at these times, so do bring appropriate clothing.
This course is concerned with identification and is suitable for beginners and all those who love trees. No previous knowledge will be assumed.
Ros Bennett is a freelance botanist and ecologist whose work has taken her to many parts of the globe. Her expertise lies principally in the native floras of Europe. She runs plant taxonomy courses for professionals and amateurs in many branches of botany. Her regular clientele includes professional ecologists, amateur naturalists, ethnobotanists, postgraduate students and trainee gardeners. She works on behalf of many organisations – in particular the Field Studies Council, Kent Wildlife Trust, various ecological consultancies and universities (most recently – Birmingham, Kent, Manchester Metropolitan and Cambridge).
Bookings for this course will close on Thursday 9 November
Please take the time to read our course cancellations and refunds policy.