Saturday, September 22, 2012


I have a vague memory of bark rubbings in my preschool years and leaf identification later on, all done somewhere on the section that my parent's farm rests It was instigated by my mother, possible with the help of 4-H. Although the memory is vague, I am certain that these experiences sparked a curiosity of tree identification that won't go away. There is just something about learning along with an enthusiastic parent.

I love to study plants because it is awe-inspiring how they are so different for specific reasons that are seemingly out of necessity, yet so artistic at the same time. Add the amazing fact that they take carbon dioxide and make oxygen to help them and us, and I'm super excited about my relationship with trees and plants!

Yesterday, our trip to the Arboretum was to identify different trees. Many of them were labeled, and we had discussed different aspects of trees in advance. For instance, that some trees are conifers and some deciduous. Also, you can identify a tree by looking at the shape of the leaves, the bark, and the seeds or cones, if there are any.

I am not saying that it was necessarily easy to sit them down and start studying trees. We would go on walks and I would point to a tree and say, "Is this coniferous or deciduous?" And they would usually say the wrong answer at first. It was out of obedience at this point but as things began to make sense, it turned into detective-like research, and almost a game.

And everything is more fun if you can draw or take pictures.

This was one that we had already researched at home- and someone remembered it!! Happy Day!

This beautiful conifer was a great conversation piece...Why is it called "blue spruce?" How is it different from other conifers? (A pine was directly across the way)

We decided that this tree had pretty shaped leaves.
Look at that texture!

Fun to draw.

Love the bark.

Kansas and hedge apples...

White oaks have rounded leaves, red oaks have pointed leaves.....

and live oaks are different altogether. This was a guess from my research. I didn't see identification.
So today, we looked at some trees in our yard. I am not sure about these, so if anyone can identify the, please let me know!
This tree we ordered from It was $10 for 10 trees, which were really small sticks. After five years, it is almost as tall as the house. However, I lost track of which tree was which. It looks like a pear tree to me, though...and it bloomed in September! :)

Based on what I read in this website, I believe this is an Ash.

This tree has always stumped me. It looks like a seedless cottonwood with birch-like bark. I'm guessing it is a poplar hybrid.
We also enjoyed looking at the floor of the arboreedum....

And the pretty flowers... refreshing since mine didn't last the summer heat.

We talked about how they support ecosystems
And critiqued nature art.

The biggest miracle of all was that no one went home tired, but energized. I am thinking of making a tree photo book with the kids, but might wait on that to see what else we can find.

No comments:

Post a Comment