Tree Identification 1


Underground Seminary – Tree Identification Project – July 12, 2017

Watershed Discipleship is an apprenticeship to the place we inhabit. Learning about the flora and fauna that live among is an important beginning step. For this assignment, we will look more closely at the trees we encounter on a daily basis, identify and learn the names of at least five of them, and research additional characteristics.


  • Find a location with a number of trees growing freely. Silverwood Park is a great location. Try to find a spot that you pass on a regular basis and pick out five or more trees that you would like to learn more about. Record the location. For each tree, take a photograph or make a drawing.
  • Use the Trees of Minnesota Field Guide by Stan Tekiela as an aid to identify the trees. Read the introduction to learn some basics of tree identification. Identify the tree and record some of the notes from the book that you find helpful (e.g., bloom, cycle, habitat, Stan’s notes).
  • Do some online research for additional information on each tree (see below). The goal is not a scientific description, but a story that helps us learn more about the history, uses, and nature of the tree. Is it edible? If so, what parts? Are there medicinal uses? What location(s) in the world is it native to, and how have humans related to it in that context? If it is not native to Minnesota, how did it get here?
  • We will present what we discover to the cohort first thing Monday morning. There will have opportunities to add to this list in the next five weeks.




White Spruce

Needles, needles, needles….


Sugar Maple


Silver Maple

A 5- to 7-pointed lobed leaf.


Black Ash



Red Mulberry