Identification walk teaches about Tri-Town trees

Feb 20, 2024

MATTAPOISETT — Tri-Town residents bundled up and took to the woods on the crisp morning of Monday, Feb. 19 for a tree identification walk hosted by the Mattapoisett Land Trust.

Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust Land Manager Linda Vanderveer led the way through a wetland near Brandt Island Cove, making plenty of stops to educate attendees about native trees and shrubs.

Vanderveer, who said her heart "has always been in conservation," taught participants different ways to identify a tree during a winter, when the fallen leaves of the colder months make it harder to tell them apart.

She explained that certain species of trees have 'alternating branches,' while others have branches opposite from one another. She said the texture of the bark is another way to tell types of trees apart.

The species present on the trail included but were not limited to white and red oak trees, sassafras and bayberries.

After teaching how to identify the different species, Vanderveer started quizzing the group to see what they had learned. Everyone passed with flying colors.

“I love it,” Vanderveer said of educating people about one of her interests. “One of my favorite things about this job is sharing my passion with others.”

Vanderveer said that her passion for animals as a child has grown into caring for the habitats of native wildlife.

“What I love is the combination of wildlife and habitat management to improve the lives of wildlife,” said Vanderveer. “Whether it is improving nesting areas or feeding sites — that kind of thing.”