The tour is free but limited to 10 participants, and registration in advance is required by calling (302) 653-6449.

The Smyrna Shade Tree Commission is welcoming the New Year with a free winter tree ramble on Saturday, Jan. 6 from 2-4 p.m.

The ramble is free but limited to 10 participants, and registration in advance is required by calling (302) 653-6449.

Participants should dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes.

The ramble will include Smyrna's historic gardens and streets beginning and ending at the historic Perkins Homestead and Gardens at 36 S. Main St. Learn how to identify both evergreen and deciduous trees at this glorious time of year by using cones, bark, leaves and buds. The ramble will cover garden uses for trees and how to manage your trees to avoid winter damage. This is a great way to fulfill your New Year's resolution for more exercise and to discover some of the town's special trees.

Participants will receive complimentary copies of William S. Taber's “Delaware Trees - A Guide to the Identification of the Native Tree Species,” provided courtesy of the Delaware Forest Service. This hardback book, now in its fourth printing, includes a listing of the First State's tree champions and is richly illustrated with photographs and botanical plates.

Following the tour, the group will reconvene by the fireplace and enjoy warm seasonal beverages and refreshments.

In case of bad weather, the ramble will be take place Saturday, Jan. 13.

The mission of the Town of Smyrna Shade Tree Commission is to educate the public about the benefits of trees and their proper care, develop specific projects relating to the planning, management, care, planting and preservation of trees in the community forest, and for the beautification of the Town. Last April, during the Annual Arbor Day Ceremony, Smyrna Shade Tree Commission Chairman Valerie White noted that Mary Turner's Sugar Maple planted on Arbor Day was the first tree to launch an ambitious initiative to increase the canopy of trees which shade the town. She invited those attending to join the launch of the Town of Smyrna's “One Thousand Trees in Ten Years” initative, which will be funded from grants, private donations, property owners and the Town of Smyrna. The commission is seeking volunteers who can help it to achieve this ambitious goal. To volunteer, call (302) 653-6449.