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 future site of the McIntire Botanical Garden, James Monroe’s Highland, Darden Towe Park, Pen Park, and the Downtown Parks.  Classes have been held at various locations including area libraries and Ivy Creek Natural Area.

This program was inactive from March to September 2020 as we observed all the precautions needed to protect groups against the coronavirus outbreak.  The program has now been reimagined as virtual offerings.  The first two Zoom classes are “Tree ID in Fall”, presented by Emily Ferguson on October 29, 2020, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., and “Trees and Wildlife”, presented by Kathy Nepote, on November 12, 2020 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.   The classes are free, but we do require registration.  If you are already on our mailing list, you will receive the invitation to register.   If you would like to be added to the mailing list for notification of these classes and other CATS events please write to

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, when life returns to normal, you can purchase a printed copy for $5.00 at the 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 New Tree Steward Training Class and volunteering, see Become a Tree Steward Volunteer.