Summer Tree ID Class at Ivy Creek

The Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards’ tree identification class—Tree ID in Four Seasons—continued with our summer session on June 29 at the Ivy Creek Natural Area. Again led by Emily Ferguson, the class began with hands-on learning in Ivy Creek’s Education Building on how to use leaf types and leaf shapes to identify trees. This was followed by a field walk on the Ivy Creek trails. The classes are free, but registration is required. Mark your calendar for the fall session on Saturday, October 26, 2019.

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Spring Tree ID.

On Saturday, March 30, Tree Steward Emily Ferguson presented a class on tree identification at the Ivy Creek Natural Area to an appreciative audience.  After an hour of class time, Emily led the group on a walk to practice identifying trees as the leaf buds are breaking. In early Spring, just before leaves start to come out, trees can still be readily identified using bark, twigs, buds, nuts, seeds, color and other features to decide what tree you are looking at. This class was the second in a series of four tree identification classes that Emily is presenting this year.  She will give one class in each season, since the features that make tree identification possible change over the seasons. Check our Take A Class or Tree Walk page for upcoming classes and tree walks led by Tree Stewards and learn more about how trees enrich our lives.



Students Plant Trees on Riparian Buffer.

Early morning on March 25 a large group of students and adults planted 200 tree seedlings along Parrot Branch Creek adjacent to Crozet Elementary School.  Rivanna Conservation Alliance (RCA), who funded this riparian buffer project, had requested CATS assistance. Allen Ingling, Kendra Hall and her husband Jim, Will Hueston, Kathy Nepote and Tim Maywalt helped oversee the “planters” which included 70 fifth graders, 40 seniors from Western Albemarle High School and several parents and teachers.  The planting which was anticipated to take all day was over within 2 hrs. Since RCA has limited staff and members for field activities, they hope that this will be the beginning of many future collaborations.

See also:

NBC29 – Crozet Elementary cleaned up watershed to protect Parrot Branch Creek

CBS19 – Students plant 200 trees to protect Parrot Branch Creek


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On June 3rd, 10 CATS volunteers, 3 City Landscape Staff, and around 30 community volunteers from The Point Church, including children worked removing invasives, clearing the trail and spread mulch near our prospective grove in McIntire Park.
We started with a talk on safety and particular jobs to do. They brought loppers and hedge clippers. We brought CATS tools as well as Ivy Creek and member tools. City provided mulch, tools, a tent, and wheelbarrows. We had hoped for 80 volunteers, but with tree stewards and city staff throwing themselves into the work, we got a lot done. The Point folks hung in there 9:30-11:30 and on into noon.

The vines were very thick. Our priority was removing vines growing on trees, and cutting roots off the cleared trail for mulch. We also worked on clearing the young Tulip grove. Chris Gensic asked that the bush hogged trail be recut in 3 places. One place went well. 2 have issues the city will have to work out, heading too close to the stream in staff opinion.

CATS members who worked that day feel great about the amount we accomplished. It will be interesting to see how it looks once the chemical applied that day does its work ( after volunteers left). The kids were fun to work with. They removed many golf balls as well as using tools, clipping roots from the trail . The mulch makes the north end of the trail look like a bonafide nature trail! This project will take many years for city and many volunteer groups to fight back invasive growth.

Tv29 news came out and documented the event: