Fall Colors: Autumn Tree Identification


Enjoy the changing leaves of fall while learning how to identify dozens of trees at a glance!

From 4 pm until 6 pm five consecutive Tuesdays

$60 - $120 sliding scale (explanation below) for all five classes

Important note about class dates: This is a five-class series that will take place on five consecutive Tuesday afternoons (starting September 26) from 4 - 6 pm. The Tuesdays are September 26 and October 3, 10, 17, and 24.

It's almost fall, and soon trees will be showing off their own fireworks display: their leaves bursting into vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. Autumn is a spectacular time of year to head outside and explore Virginia's forests; it's also a great time of year to get to know our local trees better. If you want to enjoy the colors of fall while also discovering how to identify dozens of trees at a glance, join tree expert and master naturalist Carrie Blair for this beginner-friendly five-class series! During the five weeks:

  • You'll learn all about tree characteristics and families, leaf shapes and patterns, field guides, forest ecology, and more.
  • We'll spend a little bit of time in the classroom in the beginning, covering fundamentals of tree identification.
  • After that, we'll be out in the field, meeting and studying dozens of tree species at several locations in and around Marshall, Virginia (including some excellent sites that aren't normally open to the public).

While this class will be suited for beginners, plant walks with Carrie always contain plenty of information to enthrall and challenge intermediate tree students. So...whether you want to visit beautiful woods, learn more about our Virginia forests, sharpen your tree ID skills, become more comfortable using field guides, or just get outside and enjoy amazing fall colors, this class will be fun and informative!

Class logistics: Classes will take place on five consecutive Tuesday afternoons (September 26 and October 3, 10, 17, and 24) from 4 to 6 pm. The first class will meet at Earth Village Education, just outside Marshall, Virginia. At that class we will discuss where future classes will meet, and several days prior to each subsequent class we'll contact participants via email to confirm the location and provide directions. Beginners welcome; no experience necessary. We will have several field guides, hand lenses/magnifying glasses, and binoculars at each class that students can borrow, though if you have your own, please bring them. New and used field guides may be for sale at some of the classes.

About the instructor: Carrie Blair has been passionately studying the plants of Virginia's Northern Piedmont since moving here 44 years ago. She is highly involved in the Virginia Native Plant Society where she has been a dedicated student and field trip leader for 25 years in the Piedmont chapter. She became a Virginia Master Gardener, Virginia Master Naturalist and Tree Steward, and docent at the State Arboretum of Virginia. In addition, she runs her own Tree Lovers School. Carrie loves exploring fields and forests, and she never passes up an opportunity to see new areas. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and showing people where to find nature's hidden treasures while inspiring appreciation of the natural beauty of our region.

WHAT IS A SLIDING SCALE? In order to make our classes available to a broad and diverse audience, we use a sliding scale payment model, which means YOU CHOOSE how much to pay, within a given range. Paying lower in the scale is like receiving a scholarship. Paying higher in the scale helps cover the true cost of the class. You can pay MORE than the high end of the scale: this “extra donation” helps make our sliding scale possible. Thank you for considering your situation and resources carefully as you make your decision!


See Complete Class Schedule