Just touching that old tree was truly moving to me because when you touch these trees, you have such a sense of the passage of time, of history. It’s like you’re touching the essence, the very substance of life. – Kim Novak
Research a favorite tree or give students clues and let them go on a scavenger hunt. Some things to include might be:
Scientific and other common names of the tree:
Habitat and Environment
Kind of seed
Flowers, fruit, or cones?
Circumference (measured 4 feet above the ground )
Above ground roots?
What is the soil like?
The color, texture and strength of the bark
Does the tree shed it’s bark?
Leaves or needles?
Shape, color, texture, size, strength, vein pattern of leaf or needle.
How many other trees like this are around.
Any animals in, on, or around the tree?
How much sunshine does it get?
Other interesting knowledge about this tree
El Arbol del Tule – This tree is an Ahuehuete or Montezuma Cypress growing in Oaxaca, Mexico in the town of Santa Maria del Tule. The trunk of the tree is 33 feet in diameter and has a circumference of 178 feet. Originally thought to be multiple trees that had grown and fused together, DNA tests have shown that it is actually all one tree.
Strawberry Tree (Arbutus ‘Marina’) on Hermann Street near Duboce Park shows off its flowers.
Rainbow Eucalyptus trees on Maui, Hawaii. The phenomenon is caused by patches of bark peeling off at various times and the colors are indicators of age. A newly shed outer bark reveals bright greens which darken over time into blues and purples and then orange and red tones.
Brazilian Grape Tree known as Jabuticaba does not use branches to grow fruits. It grows fruits (and flowers) directly on the trunk.
American Elm Central Park
The Angel Oak
WISTERIA TREE JAPAN
The Majestic Oak
Monkey Puzzle Tree
King Oak Tullamore, Ireland
National Park Tasmania
Kapok Tree Mexico
Root Cave Big Sur
The Knarled Tree
The Crooked Forest
Pine Tree with 6 legs
Japanese Maple Oregon
125 year old Rododendro
Underwater Mangrove Trees
Canada’s most knarled tree
The World’s largest Cashew Tree
Maior Cajueiro do Mondo is located in Natal, Brazil. The gigantic tree has grown from an amalgamation of two genetic tissues. Such tissues allow the branches of the tree to grow outwards rather than upwards. Gradually, hence, the branches tend to stoop towards the ground and eventually make for a root. This new root further grows into a new tree.
The massive tree occupies 80,000 square feet of land or roughly five acres. It is guessed to be around thousand years old. One can easily climb a tower to view this tree from a vantage point or for that matter, even climb up through the roots.
You can heartily go and pay a visit to this enormous work of nature. However, beware of the orange caterpillars. These gorgeous looking insects are poisonous. They swamp over the tree seasonally and are a size of a finger.
The beauty of this tree is that it produces 60,000 pieces of cashew fruit each year. As for some people it may come as a surprise that a cashew nut is not the fruit but a single nut is attached only to the bottom of the fruit!
Trees come in various shapes and sizes but all have the same basic structure. They have a central column called the trunk. The bark-covered trunk supports a framework of branches and twigs called the crown. Branches in turn bear the leaves.
A tree is anchored in the ground by a network of roots, which spread and grow thicker in proportion to the growth of the tree above the ground. The growth of new tissue takes place by the division of specialized cells located at the tips of branches and roots and in a thin layer just inside the bark.
Trees have reproductive structures; either flowers or cones. Leaves, bark, twigs and fruit can make quick work of tree identification. Shape plays a key role in tree species characteristics.
Leaves are the food factories of the tree. Powered by sunlight, the green substance chlorophyll uses carbon dioxide and water to produce life-sustaining carbohydrates. The process is called photosynthesis. Leaves are also responsible for respiration and transpiration. A tree’s leaf is one major marker that helps in identifying any species of tree. Most trees can be identified by the leaf alone.
Leaves come in many shapes and sizes. The “star” shape of sweetgum is totally different from the heart-shaped leaf of an eastern redbud.
A mature tree grows another important structure – the flower (or cone, in the case of evergreens). These are the reproductive structures from which seeds are produced. These seed pods, cones, flowers and fruit are markers that help in identifying a specific species of tree.
Twigs can be used to identify a tree. Twigs have structures called buds, leaf scars and bundle scars that can be different on different species. Thorns and spines can occur on twigs and are unique to certain trees.
The bark rids the tree of wastes by absorbing and locking them into its dead cells and resins. Also, the bark’s phloem transports large quantities of nutrients throughout the tree.
Xylem carries water and minerals from the roots to the leaves. Phloem carries manufactured food (sugars) from the leaves to the roots. The cambium is the generative layer, giving rise to both xylem and phloem. Bark textures are divided into at least 18 types, from smooth (beech) to spiny (locust).