HOW WELL do you really know the trees around us, and how often do you stop to look closely at all the details of their most persistent, striking feature: their amazing bark? Did you know that even without leaves, in winter, you can learn to tell trees apart? I invited author and naturalist Michael Wojtech, one of the most interesting people I had the pleasure to interview last year, to talk trees–in a lecture, and a hands-on workshop and walk geared to anyone interested in the natural world, gardener or not–during my May 9, 2015 Garden Conservancy Open Day.
‘know your trees’ talk and workshop with michael wojtech
(naturalist, educator, and author of “Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast”)
I TRY TO MAKE every garden open day extra-tempting by adding a big plant sale and educational events with top guest experts to the schedule. The day runs from 10 to 4 or so, in Copake Falls, New York. What’s on:
- Visit my garden (a snapshot of one area, above) from 10 AM-4 PM (to benefit the Garden Conservancy; no ticket required but details are here);
- Shop for rare plants from Broken Arrow Nursery in my driveway, 10-4. Note: Broken Arrow will bring special-order landscape-sized plants that day if you wish to pre-order something large or unusual. Call (203) 288-1026.
- Attend the interactive lecture (11 AM) and/or hands-on workshop and walk with Michael (1:30 PM), down the road from the garden at Church of St. John in the Wilderness, Copake Falls, New York. Details, and reserve a ticket now. Space is limited for these very special events with Michael.
LECTURE: Bark: Get to Know Your Trees – 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM, at St. John in the Wilderness, Copake Falls, New York
THROUGH a slide presentation and participatory activity, learn about a system for identifying tree species by their bark, and discover why such a variety of bark characteristics exist. Why do some species have smooth bark, while on others it is thick and broken? Why does bark peel? Those and many other questions about trees’ structure, functions and ecology will be answered. Open to all levels of experience. Reserve a ticket now.
WORKSHOP: Bark: A Multi-Sensory Experience of Trees – 1:30 to 4:30 (limited space available)
WITH CLASSROOM work and a series of participatory exercises, we will learn how to identify tree species by their bark, and uncover why such a variety of bark characteristics exist. As we practice seeing, touching, smelling, and tracing the contours of bark, we will hone our perceptive skills and deepen our intimacy with trees and the forests they grow in. We will begin indoors, and then head outside into the diverse Taconic State Park lands to explore the trees. Open to all levels of experience. Reserve a ticket now.
MICHAEL Wojtech of Know Your Trees dot com and author of “Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast” left a 15-year business career to pursue his love of natural history and writing, and earned his Master’s in Conservation Biology from Antioch University New England. His thesis, on tree bark, became the basis for his must-have field guide. Though the book’s plant ID section covers trees of the Northeast, much of the material inside speaks to the characteristics and function of bark anywhere–so it’s fascinating wherever you live.