Print the Syllabus

FOR 2324 1 Credit


Required Text: Woody Plants In North America, Kendall-Hunt Publishing, Multimedia Computer Software

Other Texts: A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs by G. Petrides (the Peterson Field Guide Series) Houghton Mifflin Co.

It is also recommend you carry with you a hand lens (10x) and a small pocket knife.

Also available are printable tree fact sheets that can be printed out beforehand and carried to the field. We strongly encourage the use of these fact sheets.

The free vTree tree identification app is available for Android or iPhone.


Dr. Seiler

Dr. John Seiler

(540) 231-5461

Dr. John Seiler is the instructor in charge of the course. His office is in Room 230J Cheatham. Teaching assistants will also be assigned to the various course sections. Any questions you may have regarding course content or grades should be directed to Dr. Seiler. The lab assistants' office hours will be announced in lab by the second week of the semester. We all try to keep an open door, so please feel free to stop by at any time.

Goals and Objectives

Educational Goals:

  1. To expose students to morphological, ecological and phenological traits useful in field identification of woody plants.
  2. To stimulate curiosity about woody plant vegetation in North America and to gain an appreciation of its uses by wildlife and people.
  3. To introduce some basic characteristics of forest ecosystems.

Specific Objectives:

  1. Students should know and be able to list characteristics useful in distinguishing woody plant families and genera.
  2. Students should know the scientific and common names of each plant studied in laboratory.
  3. Students should be able to identify and name each plant covered in laboratory, either by fruit, cone, leaf, twig, bark, habit, or any combination of these or other characteristics.
  4. Students should be familiar with the basic ecology and range of each species covered in the lab through reading materials in the texts.


The point distribution for grading each quiz specimen is as follows:

Family: 1 point
Species: 1 point
Genus: 1 point
Common Name: 3 points

*One-half point will be deducted for each misspelling of any part of the Latin name.

The final numerical grade in the course will be based on the average of all quizzes. The final course average will be calculated as points earned/total points possible.

If you miss a quiz, the grade will be recorded as a zero (0) unless an acceptable medical excuse is provided or a death occurs in your immediate family. The instructor will schedule a make-up quiz if and when appropriate. If you are sick or need to travel home, contact one of the instructors as soon as possible. Written permission to schedule a make-up quiz must be obtained from the course instructor. The College of Natural Resources and Environment Firefighting Policy will be followed.

Final Course Grade:

If your final numerical grade is:

Your final course grade is:

93 or above






















59 or below


Safety Awareness

All laboratories are conducted outdoors in whole or in part, regardless of weather conditions. Appropriate protective clothing should be worn when inclement weather is anticipated. Boots are recommended for off-campus trips. Because of the obvious health risks associated with exposure to inclement weather, the instructors reserve the right to dismiss any student who is not properly dressed from any lab period.

Being outdoors carries some additional risk. Always be aware of your surroundings. Pay special attention while crossing roads or examining trees near roads. Use your knofe responsibly. Bees, wasps and yellow jackets, although not common, may be encountered during a lab. You may wish to inform your instructor and TA of any allergies or other medical conditions that you may have. Poison-ivy will be present, so know what the species looks like. It is everyone's responsibility for keeping the class safe.

Other Help and Transportation

Dendrology Lab Room

The dendrology lab, room 215 Cheatham Hall, will be set up with specimen examples (twigs, leaves, fruit, etc.) for each week's laboratory. This is for your use on your own time. Occasional "mock" quizzes will also be available. In addition, we will be having occasional weekend review sessions. These will be announced in class and will be posted on the class home page. Pay attention to and take advantage of these opportunities. You are paying a large sum of money for this course, so make the most of it.

Off Campus Labs and Transportation

Many of the labs are off campus. YOU are responsible for getting to these locations ON TIME. The locations are nearby (e.g., Pandapas Pond) and the class web page has maps to all locations. We encourage you to carpool. If you do not have a car and need help arranging a ride, let one of us know. Please plan ahead (e.g., be sure you have gas) and be sure you know where you are going.

Assistance Available

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services, or other accommodations to participate in this class, please contact John Seiler, 230J Cheatham, at 231-5461 during business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations.

**Note: Because taxonomists occasionally rename species, a botanical name on the syllabus may not match what is in your book. The syllabus is the most updated name.**

Course Outline:

Lab #1
print notecards / print sheets

Family Botanical Name Common Name

play Aceraceae

Acer rubrum

red maple

play Aceraceae

Acer saccharum

sugar maple

play Anacardiaceae

Toxicodendron radicans


play Cornaceae

Cornus florida

flowering dogwood

play Fagaceae

Quercus alba

white oak

play Fagaceae

Quercus velutina

black oak

play Oleaceae

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

green ash

play Pinaceae

Abies concolor

white fir

play Pinaceae

Picea abies

Norway spruce

play Pinaceae

Pinus strobus

eastern white pine

play Platanaceae

Platanus occidentalis

American sycamore

play Rosaceae

Prunus serotina

black cherry

Lab #2
print notecards / print sheets

Family Botanical Name Common Name

play Aceraceae

Acer negundo



Acer platanoides

Norway maple


Acer saccharinum

silver maple


Asimina triloba



Nyssa sylvatica


play Fagaceae

Fagus grandifolia

American beech

play Fagaceae

Fagus sylvatica

European beech


Liquidambar styraciflua



Sassafras albidum


play Magnoliaceae

Liriodendron tulipifera



Prunus avium

sweet cherry

Lab #3
print notecards / print sheets

Family Botanical Name Common Name

play Betulaceae

Betula lenta

sweet birch

play Betulaceae

Betula nigra

river birch

play Fabaceae

Gleditsia triacanthos


play Fagaceae

Castanea mollissima

Chinese chestnut

play Fagaceae

Quercus imbricaria

shingle oak

play Fagaceae

Quercus macrocarpa

bur oak

play Fagaceae

Quercus montana

chestnut oak

play Fagaceae

Quercus muehlenbergii

chinkapin oak

play Fagaceae

Quercus palustris

pin oak

play Fagaceae

Quercus phellos

willow oak

play Fagaceae

Quercus rubra

northern red oak

Lab #4
print notecards / print sheets

Family Botanical Name Common Name

play Betulaceae

Ostrya virginiana


play Caprifoliaceae

Viburnum prunifolium


play Cornaceae

Cornus alternifolia

alternate-leaf dogwood

play Fabaceae

Cercis canadensis

eastern redbud

play Fabaceae

Gymnocladus dioicus

Kentucky coffeetree

play Fabaceae

Robinia pseudoacacia

black locust

play Juglandaceae

Juglans nigra

black walnut

play Magnoliaceae

Magnolia acuminata


play Oleaceae

Fraxinus americana

white ash

play Pinaceae

Tsuga canadensis

eastern hemlock

Lab #5
print notecards / print sheets

Family Botanical Name Common Name

play Betulaceae

Betula papyrifera

paper birch

play Betulaceae

Betula populifolia

gray birch

play Betulaceae

Carpinus caroliniana


play Ebenaceae

Diospyros virginiana

common persimmon

play Juglandaceae

Carya cordiformis

bitternut hickory

play Juglandaceae

Carya glabra

pignut hickory

play Juglandaceae

Carya ovata

shagbark hickory

play Juglandaceae

Carya tomentosa

mockernut hickory

play Rosaceae

Crataegus spp.


play Tiliaceae

Tilia americana

American basswood

play Tiliaceae

Tilia cordata

littleleaf linden

Lab #6
print notecards / print sheets

Family Botanical Name Common Name

play Cornaceae

Cornus kousa

kousa dogwood

play Ericaceae

Rhododendron maximum

great rhododendron

play Ginkgoaceae

Ginkgo biloba



Magnolia grandiflora

southern magnolia

play Ulmaceae

Celtis occidentalis


play Ulmaceae

Ulmus americana

American elm

play Ulmaceae

Ulmus parvifolia

Chinese elm

play Ulmaceae

Ulmus pumila

Siberian elm

play Ulmaceae

Ulmus rubra

slippery elm

play Ulmaceae

Zelkova serrata

Japanese zelkova

Lab #7
print notecards / print sheets

Family Botanical Name Common Name

play Cupressaceae

Juniperus virginiana

eastern redcedar

play Pinaceae

Larix decidua

European larch

play Pinaceae

Picea pungens

blue spruce

play Pinaceae

Pinus nigra

Austrian pine

play Pinaceae

Pinus palustris

longleaf pine

play Pinaceae

Pinus pungens

Table Mountain pine

play Pinaceae

Pinus virginiana

Virginia pine


Populus grandidentata

bigtooth aspen


Salix babylonica

weeping willow


Salix nigra

black willow

Lab #8
print notecards / print sheets

Family Botanical Name Common Name

play Betulaceae

Alnus serrulata

hazel alder

play Cornaceae

Cornus amomum

silky dogwood

play Ericaceae

Kalmia latifolia

mountain laurel

play Ericaceae

Oxydendrum arboreum


play Ericaceae

Rhododendron calendulaceum

flame azalea

play Ericaceae

Vaccinium pallidum

lowbush blueberry

play Fagaceae

Quercus ilicifolia

bear oak

play Lauraceae

Lindera benzoin


play Rosaceae

Rubus occidentalis

black raspberry

Lab #9
print notecards / print sheets

Family Botanical Name Common Name


Rhus copallinum

shining sumac


Rhus glabra

smooth sumac


Rhus typhina

staghorn sumac


Betula alleghaniensis

yellow birch


Castanea pumila

Alleghany chinkapin


Quercus stellata

post oak


Picea rubens

red spruce


Pinus resinosa

red pine


Pinus taeda

loblolly pine


Malus spp.



Rubus allegheniensis

Alleghany blackberry

Lab #10
print notecards / print sheets

Family Botanical Name Common Name

play Aceraceae

Acer pensylvanicum

striped maple

play Fagaceae

Castanea dentata

American chestnut

play Fagaceae

Quercus coccinea

scarlet oak

play Hamamelidaceae

Hamamelis virginiana


play Myricaceae

Comptonia peregrina


play Pinaceae

Pinus rigida

pitch pine

play Rosaceae

Amelanchier arborea

downy serviceberry

Lab #11
print notecards / print sheets

Family Botanical Name Common Name

play Aceraceae

Acer palmatum

Japanese maple

play Aquifoliaceae

Ilex opaca

American holly

play Cupressaceae

Taxodium distichum


play Cupressaceae

Thuja occidentalis

northern white-cedar

play Moraceae

Morus rubra

red mulberry

play Pinaceae

Abies balsamea

balsam fir

play Pinaceae

Abies fraseri

Fraser fir

play Pinaceae

Pinus sylvestris

Scots pine

play Pinaceae

Pseudotsuga menziesii


play Pinaceae

Tsuga caroliniana

Carolina hemlock

Lab #12
print notecards / print sheets

Family Botanical Name Common Name

play Caprifoliaceae

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis

American elderberry

play Caprifoliaceae

Viburnum acerifolium

mapleleaf viburnum

play Elaeagnaceae

Elaeagnus umbellata


play Ericaceae

Epigaea repens

trailing arbutus

play Ericaceae

Gaultheria procumbens


play Rubiaceae

Mitchella repens


play Smilacaceae (Liliaceae)

Smilax rotundifolia

common greenbrier

play Vitaceae

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Virginia creeper

Lab #13
print notecards / print sheets

Family Botanical Name Common Name

play Caprifoliaceae

Lonicera japonica

Japanese honeysuckle

play Caprifoliaceae

Lonicera maackii

Amur honeysuckle

play Celastraceae

Celastrus orbiculatus

Asian bittersweet

play Hippocastanaceae

Aesculus flava

yellow buckeye

play Oleaceae

Ligustrum obtusifolium

border privet

play Pinaceae

Pinus echinata

shortleaf pine

play Rosaceae

Rosa multiflora

multiflora rose

play Simaroubaceae

Ailanthus altissima


play Vitaceae

Vitis aestivalis

summer grape

Lab #14
print notecards / print sheets

Family Botanical Name Common Name

play Bignoniaceae

Catalpa speciosa

northern catalpa

play Cupressaceae

Metasequoia glyptostroboides

dawn redwood

play Pinaceae

Picea glauca

white spruce

play Pinaceae

Pinus thunbergii

Japanese black pine

play Rosaceae

Pyrus calleryana

Callery pear

play Scrophulariaceae

Paulownia tomentosa

royal paulownia

play Taxaceae

Taxus baccata

English yew