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Naturalist Riverdave Owen and Herbalist Suki Roth
Saxapahaw Island Park & nearby trails and properties
Saxapahaw, NC    


April 30 & May 7,14,21,28 2019

10Am - Noon and 2PM - 4PM

photo: the great Cottonwood Tree at Herbhaven



*5/27/2019 - Since we will be visiting a Cottonwood Tree on our May 28 Tree Camp session, I'm sharing an essay I wrote about the first Cottonwood I discovered in Durham County in the year 2009: Cottonwood Tree 

*5/27/2019 - I have sent directions to everyone by email to the meeting place of our May 28 Tree Camp session.

*5/14/2019 - I have sent directions to everyone by email to the meeting place of our May 21 Tree Camp session.

*5/13/2019 - A recent article in Smithsonian Magazine reports the age of NC cypress trees is much older than we had thought: North Carolina bald cypresses among the world's oldest trees 

*5/13/2019 - Two encouraging articles about invasive plant removal: 


Study shows native plants regenerate on their own after invasive shrub removal

Removing Chinese privet from riparian forests still benefits pollinators five years later 

*5/10/2019 - Here is a link with directions to the meeting point for our May 14th class: GOOGLE MAP


Behind the Saxaco gas station is a parking area for the Saxapahaw general store, grill and school.  Please park in this area, or further down the parking strip in front of the store if necessary. It would be a good idea to patronize the general store, grill or buy gas in appreciation for your parking space! We will meet at the large willow oak tree adjacent to the gas station and outdoor restaurant seating area. Note photo to the left.

5/10/2019 - Last Tuesday I brought your attention to the three note song of the Red-eyed Vireo, a migrant from Amazonia whose upper canopy, midday tune ("here I am, where are you") runs throughout the spring and summer.  Here's a you tube recording: YOU TUBE  I feel it is important to tune into the vibration of this bird while exploring our local forests, and let it's essence run deep into your heart ... 

*5/2/2019 - Here is a link with directions to the meeting point for our May 7th class.  Park behind the Saxapahaw Methodist Church in the parking lot next to the forest. GOOGLE MAP

*4/26/2019 - Before our first class, please review these two links on leaf arrangement. They are about the only technical concepts you will need to learn for this Spring’s tree camp.  Note that hickories and ashes constitute the vast majority of our trees with compound leaves while most other species of trees have a simple leaf arrangement.  Also, the acronym “mad horse” representing maples, ashes, dogwoods and horse chestnuts is a good way to remember many of our species with an opposite leaf arrangement while most of the rest are alternate.

*4/26/2019 - Note my today's Facebook post on the Kentucky Yellowwood tree's unusual leaf arrangement:                    

*4/6/2019 - I found this 16 minute program about trees on NPR yesterday to be very helpful: How the Sap Runs 



* If you have a scheduling conflict and want to switch from the morning session to the afternoon session or vice versa, you may do so. Just please email me with a heads up if that is your decision.  

* Our agenda is as follows: 
April 30 we walk the forested island of Saxapahaw Island Park: GOOGLE MAP 
May 7 - from behind the Saxapahaw Methodist Church we walk the south bank of the river eastward 
May 14 - from Saxapahaw town center on the north bank we walk eastward along the river 
May 21 - we walk the Howard property along Cane Creek, a tributary that feeds the Haw River from the north
May 28 - we walk Suki's Herbhaven property along Cane Creek, a tributary that feeds the Haw River from the south. We will also tour the Herbhaven garden and apothecary and learn how raw herbs are processed

* In the event I have to cancel a day of Tree Camp because of a forecast of heavy rain and wind, I will post my decision on this web page and send you an email by 7:30 AM for the morning session and by 12:30 PM for the afternoon session.  If the forecast is for an obvious washout, I will post the cancellation notice the night before class. The make up day will automatically shift to June 4 and the following Tuesdays in June if they are needed. If there is only light rain in the forecast, Tree Camp will proceed with umbrellas! 

Piedmont Tree List - Although not required, I encourage you to copy, paste and print this list out to have with you while we are out exploring during class.

* Recommended but not required for this course: 
pocket field guide: TREES OF THE CAROLINAS by Stan Tekliela
shelf ID reference covering the entire United States: SIBLEY GUIDE TO TREES by David Sibley