On Monday, March 19, 2018, the East Georgia State College Tree Advisory Committee held the first part of a series of Tree Identification Workshops on the Swainsboro Campus. Mark McClellan, Champion Tree Coordinator for the Georgia Forestry Department and member of the EGSC Tree Advisory Committee ran the workshop, which was well attended by EGSC students, faculty and members of the Swainsboro community. Students in attendance included members of the BIOL 3460 class, Plant Biology.
McClellan first introduced the workshop participants to the plant features used to identify trees, which included leaf shape, bud morphology, and leaf arrangement. He then discussed how to use these features, in conjunction with an identification key, to identify tree species. He emphasized the identification of different pine tree species growing in Georgia, and had participants apply what they had learned to different samples that he provided. The participants worked in groups to identify loblolly, long leaf, slash and Virginia pine samples. The last part of the workshop included a tour of the Swainsboro Campus to practice identifying trees.
“I walk through this beautiful campus every day,” said Freshman Biology major Yamin Chhipa. “This week’s Tree Identification Workshop has opened a much broader scope for me to identify the trees [on campus.]”
“Growing up, the main type of trees that I was accustomed to seeing planted were pine trees, so I had a basic knowledge of pines before the workshop,” said Sophomore Biology major Joshua Horne, one of the BIOL 3460 students in attendance. “During the workshop, we learned how to identify the basic trees found in Georgia. I am exceedingly glad to have been provided this opportunity by EGSC, and I would also like to thank Mark McClellan for the knowledge he shared during the workshop.”
This workshop was the first part of a Tree Identification Workshop series and is part of a learning project for the Tree Campus USA designation recently earned by EGSC. The goal is to identify the trees on EGSC’s campus.
“Trees are such an important aspect of our everyday lives and are often taken for granted,” said McClellan. “Therefore, to see students excited and engaged in learning about trees was an absolute pleasure. I’d like to thank Dr. Chevalier and the staff of EGSC for allowing me to share my knowledge of trees and natural resources to a new generation of students.”
“We all learned a lot about identifying trees during the workshop,” said Dr. David Chevalier, chair of the biology program at EGSC. “However, it is important to apply this knowledge.”
The second part of the Tree Identification Workshop Series was held on March 31 and involved identifying the trees on EGSC’s Swainsboro campus.
“Trees interest me, and I liked learning from Mark McClellan,” said community member and former EGSC professor Suella McCrimmon. “He helped our small group identify several native Georgia trees in a low, wet area of the campus. I’m proud that EGSC was designated as a Tree Campus USA.”
The third part in the workshop series is Monday, April 23 at 12 p.m. in EGSC’s Academic Building room C115. During this workshop presentation, McClellan will present the results of the March 31 tree identification activities.
- See more photos from the first Tree Identification Workshop on our Flickr page here!
- Learn more about the Tree Campus USA designation here!