Friday, October 2, 2015

Science: Tree Survey

We started a survey of the trees around our school. This seemed like a natural progression, after our tree identification session at Howell Nature Center. 

Armed with drawings of common area trees, we confidently set out on our task. 

The first tree we came to, outside the south door, many children noticed had "berries".  They were pretty sure they were crabapples, but there was not a crabapple leaf on our paper. Well, this one would have to wait.

We continued down the sidewalk. The next tree we came to, had a compound leaf.  Some children thought it was a honey locust, others thought it might be a black walnut or a bitter nut hickory.  After close inspection of the pictures, a consensus was reached that it was indeed a honey locust .   

The next tree everyone knew was a maple.  But which maple?  Probably a sugar maple but it could be a silver.  We might have to compare it with some other maple leaves before we made a determination.

Then there was a tulip tree.  No problem.  No debate on this one.  We were getting better at this identification business.  But wait...

The next leaf was heart shaped.  There were many options.  It could be a basswood, or maybe a catalpa, but then again it might be a cottonwood or redbud?  This tree identification business was not as easy as we first thought.  To help with the identification we were going to have to get more information.  Before making a final decision on this tree we were going to have to look at more than the leaf.  We realized our sheet of paper was just not going to provide us with all the answers.  We found a seed on the tree.  We were going to have to find a tree identification book to discover this tree's identity.

We did find a couple tree books in our library, and determined that the heart shaped leaf and seed we collected came from a basswood tree, but we needed better books on local trees before we ventured out again.  

It was clear to all of us that there are not always quick answers to all of our questions and inquiries.  Sometimes, it takes more research.


Jill Pritts said...

The used book stores sometimes have great science books. Should we look for a tree identification book?

Jill Pritts said...
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Jill Pritts said...
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