Winter Tree and Shrub ID, Bird Language and Permaculture: Weeks 10 & 11 - 2013

Identifying Trees and shrubs in the winter can be tricky! During week 10 of the Alderleaf Wilderness Certification Program, students learned just what features to look at to identify trees and shrubs without the presence of leaves.  The keys are the buds and twig structure.  Take a look at the difference between these 3 twigs from different species.

In the photo above you see from left to right: Red Elderberry -Sambucus racemosa , Red Alder - Alnus rubra, and Black Cottonwood - Populus trichocarpa.

In the photo above are some of the parts students look for to help with identification.

Also during week 10, our birding instructor Fil taught the students about bird language and how to move in a non-threatening way so that the birds will not be alarmed at your presence.

Birds communicate with each other by making vocalizations, which can be organized into 5 main categories: song, companion, territorial, juvenile begging, and the alarm. When you begin to recognize and understand what these different calls mean, you too can be aware of  the cat, weasel or hawk that is out hunting in the area, and you just might get the chance to see them in action.

Week 11 was another exciting week of Permaculture.  Here students practice the proper way to safely fell and process a tree.  In this case, they are felling alders.

Here permaculture instructor Dave demonstrates the use of the A-frame level for measuring topography, slope, and contours.  Then students Andrea and Megan give it a try for themselves.

Instructor Gabe Garms shows the students how to inoculate the tree they have just cut down with mushroom dowels. In the second photo Bernard is drilling the holes for the plugs.

Here Student Damien pounds the plugs into the pre-drilled hole and then Rose and Arron cover up the holes with wax.

We are looking forward to seeing them grow!


Learn about the Alderleaf Wilderness Certification Program, our in-depth, nine-month course that trains students to teach and apply wilderness survival, permaculture, ethnobotany, wildlife tracking, naturalist, and outdoor leadership skills.


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