Tree ID in winter will be topic of Jan. 15 virtual MDC program

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BRANSON, Mo. – Leaf shape isn’t the only way to tell one species of tree from another. There are several ways to tell trees apart and those methods come in handy at this time of year.

People who would like to learn more about how to identify trees in winter should register for the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) virtual program “Winter Tree ID.” This free online event will be 10-11 a.m. on Jan. 15 and is being put on by staff at MDC’s Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center. People can register at:

Identifying trees in winter can be a valuable skill. If you’re cutting firewood, clearing timber, or doing a landscaping project, it’s good to know what trees you’re removing and what you’re leaving to grow on the landscape.

Winter tree ID is not as daunting of a task as some may think. At the Jan. 15 program, MDC Naturalist Leah Eden will discuss some of the traits that distinguish one tree from another. Topics she will cover include bark, branch arrangement, overall tree shape, and other features that distinguish one type of tree from another. She will discuss how examining twigs can also be a big help in identifying a tree. Though this program is free, registration is required to participate using the link above. Registrants must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them. The program will include a chat-based question-and-answer period where participants can interact with the presenters.

Program registrants should note that they now have the option to link their children’s accounts to their own, which will streamline the program registration process. Once a group account is set up, parents will be able to register their children for an event without having to log-off or log-in for each person. This allows parents to register an entire family or select family members for an event at the same time.

To find out more about this event or other events at the Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center, call 417-334-4865, ext. 0. The Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center is part of MDC’s Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery and is located at 483 Hatchery Road on the west end of Lake Taneycomo near Branson.

Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding virtual programs. A listing of these programs can be found at