Woody Plant Identification

Course Overview


This three day course is designed to provide the practical skills needed to identify woody plants throughout the year in both leafy and non-leafy (winter twig) conditions.  The course will be taught via live online instruction. Plant materials will be shipped to you before the course so you have those for reference. 

Participants will learn the necessary leaf, twig, bark, flower and fruit features of woody plants needed to identify species regardless of geographic location. The use of both woody plant technical keys (e.g., floras) and resources on the internet will be taught.  Herbarium specimens will be used to learn characteristics of woody plants not found in the vicinity of the course.  Trips will be made to both wetland and non-wetland sites to practice field identification of woody plant species.  Woody plant lists and a USB of fully labeled images illustrating features of woody plants that are used for identification in the field and laboratory will be provided.  Course is intended for participants of all levels, including those without any botanical background. 

24 contact hours. Instructor: Joseph Thomasson


Tuition cost:
(early bird rates when you register by 1/18/2021)

Your Course Includes

Woody Plant Lists

Your instructor will provide woody plant lists that will assist you in identifying plant species you are most likely to encounter in the region.

Electronic Resources

All participants receive a thumb drive of fully labeled images illustrating features of woody plants that are used for identification in the field and laboratory.

Instructor interaction

WTI instructors are available to answer specific questions during and after your course.

Frequently asked Questions

Where is the specific location or venue for the course?

This course will take place ONLINE via live instruction.

Does this course have any certificates?

You will receive a certificate of completion with instructional contact hours documented once you have completed all course requirements (i.e. online lectures, field practicum, discussion forum participation).

Register Now by Course Location

Date and Location for Woody Plant Identification:

Dates Location Register by Location


What our participants say…

“This course will be very helpful to my job, especially during early spring wetland delineations. Dr. Thomasson is a knowledgeable and passionate instructor.”

“I enjoyed everything. The course contains valuable information and is presented well. The content is beneficial and the instructor is very personable and knowledgeable.”


Dr. Joseph Thomasson, is curator of the herbarium at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History at Fort Hays State University. He has taught classes in aquatic biology, botany, dendrology, flowering plant taxonomy, and grass taxonomy for 30 years. Each year since 2002 he has served as a senior plant taxonomist consulting to the U. S. Forest Service, the NRCS, and a major mineral resources corporation.

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Select location above and click on “REGISTER NOW” to enroll.