Tree Basics Classes and Tree Walks

Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards normally offer several free classes and tree ID walks during the year.  The walks have been offered at public places and historic sites such as the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont, Darden Towe Park, Pen Park, and the Downtown Parks.

This program was inactive from March to late October 2020 as we observed all the precautions needed to protect groups against the coronavirus outbreak.  It was then reimagined as virtual offerings until groups could gather again.   Starting in Fall 2021, we will offer some live tree walks and will continue with the virtual presentations for classes.  Information will be posted here on our website, or you can ask to be on our mailing list by completing this form.

Fall 2021

New sessions for the second half of 2021 will usually be held on weekday evenings or weekends so that all can enjoy them. The virtual classes are free, but you need to register to receive the Zoom link.  You will also need to register for the walks as there is a limit on the size of the groups.  Registration links will be provided several weeks before the event.

Tree Basics Classes

Our fall 2021 lineup of Tree Basics classes includes

  • Trees and Wildlife Thursday evening, September 9, 7:00-8:30 p.m.  See slides from presentation here
  • Tree Identification by Season: Fall Tuesday evening, October 5, 7:00-8:30 p.m. See slides from presentation here.
  • Selection, Planting and Care of Trees Tuesday evening, October 19, 7:00-8:30 p.m.  See slides from the presentation here.   Because the audio doesn’t work on the video embedded in slide 41, Container Tree Root Preparation, click here to view and hear this presentation.  For sound on the video embedded in slide 49,  Planting a Tree Bare Root, click here to view and hear this presentation.
  • Winter Invasive Plant Identification and Treatment (in three parts).  The Winter Invasive Plant class will have a field element. You will have the option of joining us at Azalea Park for a walk that will illustrate the material provided in the webinar.
    • Part 1 Introduction and Identification Tuesday November 2, 7-9 p.m.  (Zoom) Register here.
    • Part 2 Control Methods  Thursday November 4, 7:00-9:30 p.m. (Zoom)  Register here.
    • Part 3 Field session at Azalea Park Saturday morning November 6, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Register here.  

Tree ID walks

Also in fall 2021, we resumed free live tree walks.

  • Tree ID Walk at Pen Park Sunday morning, September 5, 11:00-12:00.    
  • Tree ID Walk at Botanical Garden of the Piedmont Saturday morning  September 11 10:30 a.m. to noon.
  • Tree ID Walk on University of Virginia campus Friday morning, September 24, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  
  • Tree ID Walk at Mint Springs Valley Park in Crozet, Wednesday morning, November 17,  10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  Register here(CATS members, please sign up through TrackItForward).

Spring and Summer 2021

The following presentations were offered.  Click the links to see the slides and commentary

  • Pruning landscape trees, Saturday morning, 10:00 a.m. to noon, January 23.  See slides from this presentation here.
  • Tree identification by season: Winter, Tuesday evening, 7:00-8:30 p.m., February 9.  See slides from presentation here.
  • Select, plant and care for trees, Saturday afternoon, 2:00-4:00 p.m., March 20.  See slides from presentation here.  Video for #41 Spade removing tree here.  Video for #46 Planting a Tree Bare Root here
  • Tree identification by season: Spring, Tuesday evening, 7:00-8:30 p.m., April 13.  See slides from presentation here.
  • Identify and control non-native invasive plants, Sunday afternoon, 2:00-4:00 p.m., May 23.  See slides from presentation here.
  • Tree identification by season: Summer, Tuesday evening, 7:00-8:30 p.m.,  June 15.   See slides from presentation here.
  • Restoring the American chestnut,  Tuesday evening, 7:00-8:30 p.m., July 20  See slides from presentation here.

Mailing List

Stay tuned to this site for the addition of new opportunities to learn more about the trees around us.  If you would like to be on our mailing list to know when other registrations open, click here or come back to this page on our website for updates.

Learn to Identify Common Native Trees of Virginia

To help those who want an introduction to tree identification, we have developed a beginner’s guide to 20 native trees found in the Charlottesville area.  We also recommend Common Native Trees of Virginia published by the Virginia Department of Forestry.  It is available as a PDF file here, or you can purchase a printed copy for $5.00 at the Virginia Dept. of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources Drive, Charlottesville.   This well-illustrated book describes 77 of the most common native tree species found in Virginia’s forests.  As an introductory guide for tree identification, it provides full-page descriptions of each tree as well as a useful key to various features that can help you when you encounter an unknown tree.

For information on the next Tree Steward Training Class and volunteering, see Become a Tree Steward Volunteer.