Conifer tree,

Trees of Victoria I: Conifers


Course description

The streets and parks of Greater Victoria are adorned with many beautiful trees. While Vancouver Island has only 34 native species of trees, in the city we can encounter over 500. Trees in horticultural plantings could be from anywhere in the world. The tree you are admiring could be a Blue Atlas Cedar from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, a Deodara Cedar from the western Himalayas, or even a Dawn Redwood, a tree only known from fossils until its rediscovery in China in 1944. The vast diversity of possible origins greatly complicates the task of identifying trees in an urban environment.

We start by learning to recognize conifer genera like pines, firs, spruces, cedars, junipers and cypresses and then move on to separating individual species. In classroom sessions we will follow identification keys and see examples of the characteristics (both macro and micro) that help to define each genera and species.  On field trips to local parks, we will look for the important features and practice the identification of trees.

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