The Tree ID outings are educational, but they’re also a nice opportunity to look at fall colors.
“We’re starting to see the bright red Virginia creeper,” said Rosier. “It’s most easily noticed in a vine climbing up a tree.” She said people often mistake the vine for poison ivy with its leaves of three, but the creeper has five leaves with jagged edges.
“Walnuts are starting to turn,” said Thompson, pointing to the yellow starting to show. He said that once there’s a cold snap, things happen fast. “Our first frost, they start going.” At Mounds, that’s generally going to be the end of October to mid-November. “It just depends how cold it gets how fast,” he said.
Those participating in the Tree ID hikes for a school project are permitted to collect leaves. Thompson encourages participants to bring along an old phone book so leaves can be pressed as you go.
The state has a two-page informational brochure describing 22 trees of central Indiana at http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/files/22_trees.pdf.
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If you go: What: Tree ID Days Where: Mounds State Park, 4306 Mounds Rd., Anderson. Meet at the Visitor Center porch. When: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12 and 13. Hikes commence at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. both days. More info: The outings are free, but the park entrance fees are $5 per in-state vehicle and $7 out-of-state. Call 649-8128 for more info.