With the last remaining hues of fall drifting away, field trip leader Paul Quinlan, Madison Parks Conservation Resources Supervisor, led a group on a tree walk around the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. Before setting foot on the trail, Paul painted a vivid picture of the layers of ecological history in the land we stood on. He then led us from one tree to another, showing us how to tell different types of trees apart. Examining the bark and the shape of the leaves are two ways for identifying trees. Did you know that white oak has rounded leaves and red oak has pointed tips on their leaves (like a hook!). Our attention shifted to the encroachment of invasive species. Paul pointed out the menace of Buckthorn and the ominous signs of Emerald Ash. As the trip concluded, participants were encouraged to continue exploring with a reminder that one doesn't have to be an expert to start identifying trees.
Report and photos by Diana Tapia Ramon