Native Trees in a Time of Climate Change
with Tom Kimmerer, PhD

Friday, March 19, 2021
9:00 am – 12:00 pm (Eastern Daylight Savings Time)
Online via Zoom webinar

Trees grow within narrow ecological limits. Cottonwoods don’t grow on mountain tops and spruce trees don’t grow in Tennessee river bottoms. The complex topography, geology, soils, and climate of Tennessee has resulted in highly diverse forests. But we know climate has changed in the past and is changing right now. A list of native trees of Tennessee 15,000 years ago would be completely different from the list of native trees now. Trees migrate as a result of changes in climate, not by picking up their roots and walking over a mountain, but due to changes in where seeds of various species can become established and grow. In a time of very rapid climate change, it is reasonable to consider what the future forests of Tennessee might be like, and what trees we might consider native.

This discussion will be divided into three parts. We will describe the trees of the past and present in Tennessee, then see how the current climate crisis might favor some trees and cause the loss of others, and we will finish by examining what we, as native tree enthusiasts should do in the face of the climate crisis. We will focus on trees, even though these changes affect all plant species, because we collect huge amounts of data about the health and growth of trees, but do not do the same for herbaceous plants. There will be plenty of time for discussion following each of these three segments.


Tom Kimmerer, PhD, is a scientist, author and photographer.  He is a consulting forest scientist, working with landowners and with other scientists and natural resource management professionals to ensure a future for the woodland pastures of Kentucky and Tennessee. He also consults on sustainability issues related to forest management and wood utilization, including carbon sequestration in forests and wood products. He is the author of Venerable Trees – History, Biology and Conservationand is working on a second book, A Time for Trees.   Kimmerer is a conservation photographer specializing in tree and forest photography.  Kimmerer has a B.S. in Forest Biology (Botany) from SUNY ESF and a PhD in both forestry and botany, with a specialization in tree physiology and biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  Visit his website: Kimmerer.com.


For those pursuing the Certificate in Native Plants, this seminar is an elective course and provides 4 hours toward the completion of the Certificate.  In order to receive CNP credit, you MUST be logged in to the class on March 19th and enter your name in the chat box.  You do NOT need to be pursuing the Certificate in Native Plants in order to register for this seminar.

The recording of this seminar will be available for six months or until 9/19/2021 in a password protected site for paid registrants only.


TICKETS  |  $30 Wild Ones Members  |  $40 Nonmembers