Decoding Plants (October 2017)


Decoding Plants (October 2017)

from 160.00

Deepen your connection with the place we live by tuning into the world of trees. Understanding the species we share our home with positions us to be advocates for conservation and offers tools for reimagining our relationships to nature.

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Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 14 - 15, 10 am - 3 pm
Location: Overlook Neighborhood
$160 individual/$225 corporate || 20 student maximum || Discounted tuition available

Have you ever walked around your neighborhood, or gone on a hike, and wished you knew the names of the trees you saw? Have you ever wondered how they fit into the ecosystem and what uses they have? Nowadays, it’s easy to feel detached from the natural environment that's right outside your door.

Tune back into the places you love by learning about the the world of trees. In this class, you’ll learn to recognize our local trees and to identify conifers, as well as understand how the flora of our bio-region is in flux. Once you know the trees around you, you can become a true advocate for conservation, and reimagine your personal and collective relationship to nature. By the end of the course, you’ll have created your own guide to 10 major tree families -- and you’ll have fresh eyes for the green life around our city, while knowing how to protect it for years to come.
Day 1: Tree Patterns. Explore the taxonomy (how plants are classified according to their relationships) and morphology (the form and parts of a plant) of trees and meet our first five plant families, including native and introduced species. Practice using a key to identify conifers. 
Day 2: Tree Communication. Learn how trees interact with each other and other species in the ecosystem. We’ll discuss the ethnobotany of trees in the Willamette Valley including edible, medicinal and culturally significant species. Take a woodland walk to practice identifying five more tree families. 

  • What to bring: Sketchbook, pencil, eraser, pencil sharpener
  • Optional texts: Botany in a Day by Thomas Elpel, Pacific Coast Tree Finder by Tom Watts
  • Bring drinking water and a bag lunch or buy lunch at one of several nearby cafes. 
  • Dress for the weather and bring sun/rain protection, and whatever you need to be comfortable walking outdoors. 


Mulysa Melco is an ecological landscape designer, horticulturist and artist with a lifelong passion for plants and exploring our connection with the land.