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 Botanical Garden of the Piedmont, Darden Towe Park, Pen Park, and the Downtown Parks.

This program was inactive from March to late October 2020 as we observed all the precautions needed to protect groups against the coronavirus outbreak.  It was then reimagined as virtual offerings until groups could gather again.   Starting in Fall 2021, we offered several live tree walks and continued with the virtual presentations for classes.  The schedule for Fall 2022 is being developed.  The classes from Spring and Summer 2022  are listed below with links to the slide presentations.  Upcoming walks with registration links are listed below. Information on the classes and walks will be posted here on our website, or you can ask to be on our mailing list by completing this form.


Tree Basics Classes:  Fall 2022
  • Select, Plant, and Care for Trees  (Zoom), Tuesday evening, September 20, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.  Perfect timing before our October 1st tree sale to learn how to select a tree for your property that will have the best chance to survive and flourish in the place that you choose for it.  Tree Steward Tim Maywalt will discuss best practices for planting and show you how to care for your newly planted tree.   Register here.
Tree Basics Classes:  Spring/Summer 2022
  • Pruning landscape trees (Zoom), Tuesday evening, January 11, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.   See slides from presentation here.
  • Tree Identification by Season:  Winter (Zoom), Tuesday evening, February 22, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.  See slides from presentation here.
  • Select, Plant, and Care for Trees (Zoom), Tuesday evening, March 29, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.  See slides  from presentation here.
  • Identify and Control Non-Native Invasive Plants in Spring/Summer  (Zoom)
    •  Part 1  Introduction and Identification, Tuesday evening, April 12, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.  See slides from presentation here.
    •  Part 2  Control Methods, Thursday evening, April 14, 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.   See slides from presentation here.
  •  Tree Identification by Season: Spring (Zoom),  Tuesday evening, April 19, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.  See slides from presentation here.
  •  Tree Identification by Season: Summer (Zoom), Tuesday evening, June 7,  7:00 to 8:30 p.m.  See slides from presentation here.
  • The Social Life of Trees  (Zoom), Tuesday evening, June 14th, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.   See slides from presentation here.
Tree ID walks   
Note:  walks will be cancelled in the event of thunderstorms.
  • Tree Identification Walk: Preddy Creek  3690 Burnley Station Road, Charlottesville.    Join Tree Steward Mary Lee Epps on this walk of about two miles on gently sloping or relatively level woodland trails.  Preddy Creek has a remarkable array of trees, some of which are not often seen in Albemarle County, such as American wild plum, shingle oak and butternut.   Please note this walk is geared for adults.  The focus will be on tree identification and interesting aspects of the trees we will be seeing.  Long pants and long-sleeved shirts are encouraged because of ticks, poison ivy, etc.  Bring water and snack if desired.  We will meet at large map board by restrooms and adjacent to parking lot.
    • Tuesday morning, August 23rd from 9:30 to 11:30.  Limit of 12 people.  Register here. 
  • Tree Identification Walk:  Pen Park   1300 Pen Park Road, Charlottesville.  The Pen Park fitness trail provides a good introduction to the beauty and the challenge of encouraging native tree populations.  Join Tree Steward Dana Denbar on this easy ramble over a half mile distance on a gently sloping paved trail.  Learn how to identify 12 Virginia native tree species.  Wear sturdy shoes and bring water.  Directions and parking:  After entering Pen Park, take a left immediately before the tennis courts and park in the lot near the picnic shelters.  We will meet in the grassy area between Shelter 2 and Shelter 3.
  • a) Saturday, September 3rd from 9:00 a.m.  to 11:00 a.m. for CATS member ONLY– Limit 15 people.  Register here.
  • b) Sunday, September 4th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  for Public ONLY – Limit of 15 people.  Register here.

Mailing List

Stay tuned to this site for the addition of new opportunities to learn more about the trees around us.  If you would like to be on our mailing list to know when other registrations open, click here or come back to this page on our website for updates.

Learn to Identify Common Native Trees of Virginia

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 you can purchase a printed copy for $5.00 at the Virginia 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 next Tree Steward Training Class and volunteering, see Become a Tree Steward Volunteer.