FORS 3000 Note: Because dendrology is an entire class, it is not considered a module for FORS 3000.
Dendrology is the study of woody plants, most commonly trees. The Conclave dendrology competition focuses solely on the identification of plants, mostly trees and shrubs with the occasional inclusion of some vines. Native and invasive or introduced species are included, although the event focuses on species found in forested areas near the host school. Contestants have 3 minutes to identify each specimen and record the common name, family, genus, and species. There are 20 trees in the competition, with varying points for each portion of the answer and penalties for incorrectly spelled, capitalized, or underlined names. Contestants may use visual aids (e.g. magnifying glass or binoculars), may break off twigs or leaves, cut into the bark, or use any other means of identification that does not kill the specimen. On rare occasion a contestant even climbs a tree to obtain a leaf or twig! Dendrology has been a Conclave event every year since at least 1960.
Dendrology Example Photo
Photo Credit: Students attempt to identify a tree at the 59th Southern Forestry Conclave hosted by Clemson University. Photo by Jeremy Stovall.
Dendrology is critical to many tasks within forestry, whether ecosystems are being managed for timber, wildlife, water, recreation, or other uses. When cruising or marking timber, tree identification is necessary to discern between species with different values. The silvics, or ecology, of species varies, meaning that they respond differently to management practices such as thinning or herbicide application. Trees vary in their utility to produce browse, mast, or habitat structures for wildlife. Plant identification is one component considered when delineating wetlands, which can have substantial management implications under the Clean Water Act. These are but a few examples of the central role dendrology plays in the day-to-day profession of forestry.
Past Dendrology Species Lists
|48||2005||Stephen F. Austin State University|
|50||2007||University of Tennessee|
|54||2011||University of Georgia|
|55||2012||North Carolina State University|
|58||2015||Mississippi State University|
|60||2017||Stephen F. Austin State University|
|61||2018||Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College|
|62||2019||Louisiana State University|
|63||2022||University of Tennessee|