Basic Tree ID (on demand)

Learn to identify the common trees you see in local preserves or in your neighborhood in this self-guided online class from The Morton Arboretum.

Content Detail

Learn how to identify trees in this self-guided online class from The Morton Arboretum. Get to know the common trees you see in local preserves or in your neighborhood. In this course, you will learn how to ID a tree by:

  • using characteristics such as leaves, bark, branches, flowers, and fruit;
  • learning how to use tree identification keys and field guides, and;
  • seeing your natural surroundings in a new way, from the comfort of your home or office.

This course includes examples of common trees in Illinois and the Midwest, though the basic concepts you will learn can be applied to identifying trees in any region.

Tree ID is a useful skill and builds a deeper connection to nature. Once you start learning about tree ID, you will be better able to identify and appreciate the trees in your community.

How Self-Paced Online Classes Work

To access the class, you will log into TreeLearning, the Arboretum’s online learning portal. Instructions for accessing TreeLearning will be sent to registrants by email from following registration. You have access to the course for 60 days and can complete the materials anytime.

Complete the self-paced e-learning modules with reading material, short videos, interactive activities, and quizzes to check your understanding. 

The course will take approximately 90 minutes. The course does not need to be completed in one sitting.

Your instructor will not be online with you. 

Course number: N143-OD


Kelly Burns, education program guide, The Morton Arboretum

Kelly Burns has been teaching at The Morton Arboretum since 2014. After earning a biology degree in 1995, she has enjoyed a wide variety of jobs: bat researcher, merit badge counselor, animal keeper, and teacher. She draws upon her experience and passion to help her audience understand and appreciate the natural world.

What to Know

This class is held entirely online. 

The online materials will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. 

Participants will have access to the online materials for 60 days after the course start date.


Participants must have access to the internet and know how to use a web browser (ex: Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer).

Participants must know how to send and receive email. 

A unique email address for each participant is required at registration.


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