Awbury Arboretum: A perfect place to sharpen your tree recognition skills

story by Bernard Brown | photos by Jen BrittonFor at least 10 years I’ve been trying to learn more about trees. Back when I lived in Atlanta, I resolved to identify the trees growing in a large wooded park near my home. I bought a Peterson field guide and got to work. I did okay with the big differences between, for example, the oaks and the ashes, the maples and the magnolias, but I had had little patience for the finer points. Was that an iron wood or a hornbeam? If it meant I had to count the scales on their itty-bitty buds, it was too much effort for a reptile and amphibian guy (herper) like me.
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Woodland Lessons: Free workshop on sustainable forestry for college students

Image via thedailygreen.comNative woodlands are a critical part of our ecosystem, yet they are increasingly disappearing. To educate students on the problem and to encourage protection, Camphill Village Kimberton Hills is offering a free, two-day workshop to area college students on watersheds and sustainable forest management.

The Sustainable Forestry Management Program, funded by a grant from the Department of Environmental Protection, will teach students about watershed protection and forest management as well as provide experiential learning in how to identify and remove invasive species, plant seedlings, test soil and clear trails. The workshops will be led by Alice Dworkin, Camphill Kimberton’s estate manager, and Mike Dunn, owner of Preservation Tree and an International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist.

Students can choose from three dates: Sept. 15-16, Sept. 22-23 or Sept. 29-30. The workshop is on both days from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Space is limited and registration will continue until all spots are filled. Teams of students are encouraged to register. Students must be able to attend two consecutive workshop days. For more information and to register, contact Lyla Kaplan ( or 610-935-0300 ext. 12). 

Urban Naturalist: A tall cool one

I often feel hemlock trees around me before I look up and identify them. I’ll be hacking my way through the woods, sweating in summer heat. Then the underbrush opens, the light dims and a slow, refreshing breeze washes over me. I’m under the tight canopy of a hemlock standing alongside a stream. I love that dark, cool atmosphere on a hot day, and so do the wildlife—in particular, stream denizens such as trout that rely on cold water.
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