Common Trees of Appalachia Login




Dr. Seiler

Dr. John Seiler

(540) 231-5461

230J Cheatham Hall

Office Hours: Any time, unless I am in class, a meeting, or out of town.

Course Objectives

Introduction to the natural history, tree biology, tree identification, forest ecology, management and forest types of the Appalachian region. Identify parts of trees and define the function of various organs. Examine the relationship between tree health, growth, and the environment; describe forest soils and their relationship to forest growth and productivity and sustainability. Learn the common forest management practices used in Appalachian forests. Describe common insect and disease pests of the Appalachian region. Identify common tree species and forest types of the Appalachian region.

Expectations of Students

Just as you expect us to attend lecture, we expect you to attend lecture. If you miss a lecture, it is your responsibility to get the material. Four quizzes are given during the semester. Except in the case of extreme extenuating circumstances, these cannot be made up! You pay approximately $30 for every lecture, whether you come or not, so work to get your money's worth. Come to class!


This will be determined by three formal exams. Each will count 30% of your grade. Four short announced quizzes distributed throughout the semester will make up the final 10 %. Final grades will be assigned based on the following breakdown:

Numerical GradeCourse Grade
93 or aboveA
59 or belowF

The Virginia Tech Honor system is in effect at all times. More information on the Honor system


Your class textbook is available as a web app that you can log in to with the above link. You will have an opportunity on the first day of class to sign up for access to the web app.

Syllabus by topics

  1. Overview of Appalachian region and history
  2. Tree structure and function
  3. Ecological processes
  4. Forest management
  5. Environmental pressures and pests

Trees of the week

  1. Very Popular: yellow-poplar, red maple, white oak
  2. Also Popular: eastern white pine, American beech, black oak
  3. Confusing Leaves: boxelder, white ash, hickory
  4. Tasty Treats: sassafras, black birch, sugar maple
  5. Riverside Filters: silver maple, sycamore, willow
  6. Prized Hardwoods: black cherry, black walnut, northern red oak
  7. Endangered Heritage: American chestnut, eastern hemlock, American elm
  8. Old Field Invaders: Virginia pine, black locust, eastern redcedar
  9. Fire Lovers: Table Mountain pine, pitch pine, chestnut oak
  10. Canadian Holdovers: red spruce, Fraser fir, yellow birch
  11. Dry Ridges: blackgum, sourwood, scarlet oak
  12. Invaders! tree-of-Heaven, royal paulownia, autumn-olive
  13. Spring Beauties: eastern redbud, downy serviceberry, flowering dogwood
  14. Living Fossils: dawn redwood, ginkgo