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Oak Trees (Quercus sp.) dominate the eastern forest. As I walk through the woods I know that most of the trees trunks I see are oak trees. Red Oak is easy to pick out when they are older because their longitudinal furrows are reddish in color. When they are young – it is harder to tell from the bark (although the leaves are distinctive). White Oak is also easier to pick out because they have platey silvery-white bark, and the leaf lobes are rounded rather than pointy. But what about the scarlet oak, swamp white oak, pin oak, black oak and chestnut oak? How do I distinguish those trees? I have trouble picking them out in the woods.

With some guidance from our arborist, I was able to identify some of those species and label them in the sanctuary last summer. Now that I am not looking at those trees through his eyes, I am having trouble remembering how to distinguish them.

The winter lecture on Saturday January 30th at 1:30 will help me (and all of you who attend) learn how to distinguish different species of oak by leaf, bark, bud and silhouette. Tom Smith is professor of Landscape Design and Management at Springfield Technical Community College. He will be here to help us identify this quirky species. You can reserve a spot at our lecture by calling 267-9654 or email for reservations or more information. Hope to see you there!

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