Adult Programs

Winter Tree ID (online and in person)

Learn to identify trees after they shed their leaves for the winter in this online class from The Morton Arboretum.

Content Detail

Learn to identify trees after they have shed their leaves for the winter in this online class from The Morton Arboretum. Develop the skills to identify winter trees on your own using clues found in buds, fruits, leaf scars, bark, and branching patterns. 

The class will kick off with a self-paced online lesson, covering basic skills and terminology. Complete it any time you wish before the scheduled field session with your instructor. 

During the field session, you will visit common northern Illinois trees and practice your identification skills with the guidance of your instructor.

How Online Classes Work:

  • To access the online portion of the class, you will log into TreeLearning, the Arboretum’s online learning portal. Instructions for accessing TreeLearning will be sent to registrants on the day the course begins. You have access to the course for 60 days.
  • Complete self-paced e-learning modules with reading material, short videos, interactive activities, and quizzes to check your understanding. 
  • The self-guided portion will take approximately 60 minutes and does not need to be completed in one sitting.

 COVID-19 Precautions:

Program participants must abide by the Arboretum’s safety guidelines




  •  Held online and in person. Dress for extended time outdoors.
  • Automatically generated captions will be available during the live Zoom session.
  •  Limit 18 


  • Must have access to the internet and provide a unique email address for each registrant at registration.  

Required Text: Winter Tree Finder, by May T. Watts and Tom Watts, $5.95, available in The Arboretum Store or from online retailers such as Amazon.  

Certificate information: Fills a plant identification requirement for N-ACT participants. 

Kim Shearer, tree and shrub breeder, The Morton Arboretum

Kim Shearer is our tree and shrub breeder and manages the Daniel P. Haerther Charitable Trust New Plant Development Program. She came to the Arboretum after completing her M.S. degree in Horticulture with a focus in Plant Breeding and Genetics at Oregon State University. Kim’s experience and education has been primarily focused on the propagation, development, and evaluation of tree and shrub species from around the world. Kim manages the New Plant Development lab, engages audiences around the country promoting trees and shrubs through the Chicagoland Grows(R) Plant Introduction Program, and works closely with academics and the nursery industry in the evaluation of tree and shrub selections.


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