Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tree Identification in Winter

I’ve created a video of a portion of my Keynote presentation “Tree Identification in Winter.”   This is the part I normally use in teaching sessions, with a focus on working with twigs and their buds and scars.  There are other parts dealing with using site, bark, and branching patterns, but those bring the total to somewhere around 350 slides--far too many for a typical class, and things better taught in the field anyway.

As a guide to a number of specific trees, the presentation will probably work well in much of the eastern United States.  As a guide to terminology, techniques, and identification tools, it should have  value in a much wider area.  To reach the presentation, click on the “Tree Identification in Winter” link on the right hand side of the Home page.

The presentation isn’t limited to native forest species, although they dominate. I’ve also included commonly-planted lawn and street trees, as well as invasive species.  It’s likely you will encounter all of these, and I imagine you will want to know them when you meet them.  Once you begin to practice the kinds of observations depicted in the video, you may find that identifying trees is actually easier when their leaves are off, and the absence of leaves enables you to focus on other aspects of the tree, things that can be a unique signature. 

American Beech
It takes about 40 minutes to run through the video, which has no audio accompaniment.  That saves band width, so people should have less trouble viewing it.  Most of the material is already explained on slides in the presentation.

I tried to pace the video at a slow enough speed that people who are trying to read carefully can take in all the text, and will have a chance to actually look at the photos.  (I think now that I slowed it down too much, and will try to edit it down when I get a chance.)  If people are wanting to reread something or take notes, they can pause the presentation, and then resume playing it when they're ready to move on.

There's a band running along the bottom of the video panel that disappears, but will reappear if you put your cursor anywhere on the slide.  On the left side of the band you'll see a Play/Pause button.  Immediately to the right of that it tells you how much time has elapsed so far in the presentation, and at the very far right it tells you how much time remains.  If you plan to go back to something, you can jot down the time for the slide you want to revisit.  There is a small diamond that moves along the band, showing where you are in the presentation.  You can move that diamond backward or forward, and that will take you backward or forward in the presentation.

My hope, as always, is that the video adds to your love and appreciation of trees. 

                           © Tony Russell, 2013


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