Short Course - Ancient, Venerable and Large Old Trees: Ecology and Conservation, 14-17 October 2021, USA

Publish Date: Jul 04, 2021

Deadline: Aug 15, 2021

Event Dates: from Oct 14, 2021 12:00 to Oct 17, 2021 12:00


This four (4) day course will be an opportunity for people to gain experience in recognizing large old trees and understanding their role as important elements for biodiversity and cultural/historical heritage. By the end of the course, participants will have learned: how to recognize ancient trees, why they are important, how to manage them to enhance their longevity and how they fit  in a global context. Topics will include: ancient trees in a global context: where, when and what trees grow old, how trees are or are not able to live for a long time, field marks for identifying old trees and how old trees function as habitat for other organisms, including fungi, invertebrates and vertebrates. The course will also address the conservation and management of old trees and issues specific to them.


 This field course is ideally suited to professionals and others with an interest in trees and learning to recognize old trees and understand their value. Ecologists, botanists, foresters, land managers, landscape architects, and other tree professionals, as well as artists, educators, students and tree enthusiasts are welcome to apply. NOTE: It is helpful for potential applicants to have a basic understanding of trees and the ability to identify a few species or genera by leaves and/or bark. This is NOT an arboriculture course.  Arborists may benefit from learning more about old trees in general, however the course will not detail specific pruning schemes or other treatments, except in very broad terms. This course will be limited to 12 participants.  

About OSGF

The Oak Spring Garden Foundation (OSGF) is a philanthropic foundation based at the former primary estate of the late Paul and Rachel Mellon, who were major philanthropists in the U.S. of the arts, humanities, and sciences in the second half of the twentieth century. OSGF is located in the northern Virginia Piedmont and Blue Ridge Mountains region (ca. one-hour drive from Washington, D.C.). Led by Sir Peter Crane, the Foundation’s inaugural President, OSGF supports residencies for artists and scholars. It is becoming a new center of excellence and stimulation of all things botanical, from fundamental research in plant evolution and conservation, to horticultural and plant conservation practice, to the history and art of plants gardens and landscapes.


 Sir Peter Crane FRS is President of the Oak Spring Garden Foundation. From 1999 to 2006 he was Director of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and from 2009 to 2016 he was Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. He is known internationally for his work on the diversity of plant life – its origin, fossil history, current status, conservation and use.

Michael Gaige is an independent consulting ecologist based in upstate New York. His work explores the intersection of nature, culture, and history at the landscape level. Michael works with organizations, private landowners, and design teams on park and landscape projects, historical ecology inventories, and conservation planning for natural areas. He wrote detailed historical and landscape inventories for the Oak Spring Garden Foundation main site and it’s adjacent Rokeby farm. Michael teaches field studies programs for several colleges and universities.

Dates and Duration

 The course runs for four (4) days beginning 9:00 am Thursday, October 14, 2021 and ending by 1:00pm on Sunday, October 17, 2021. Accommodations and an informal dinner will be available for those participants arriving on Wednesday, October 13, 2021.

Accommodation and Travel Information

 Participants will be accommodated with all meals and private lodging on site at Oak Spring. They will need to bring proper clothing for being in the field (a suggested list will be provided after acceptance).

Participants are responsible for arranging their own travel to the Washington, D.C. area. If flying, please book flights to Dulles International Airport. Closer to the start date, our Programs team will assist with coordinating travel arrangements to the Oak Spring Garden Foundation site, as necessary. 

Course Fee

$750 (includes course content and all meals and accommodations)

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

Further Official Information

Link to Original

Similar Opportunities




Opportunity Types


Eligible Countries


Host Countries

United States