school projects

TREE STUDY



There are several kinds of trees. In tropical rainforests, where it is warm and wet all year, most trees are evergreen and keep their leaves the entire year.

Tropical rainforests are found near the Equator, where there is little difference between the seasons. In countries with a temperate (moderate) climate, deciduous, board-leaved trees shed their leaves in autumn. Losing leaves reduces evaporation. This helps the tree conserve energy and water when the ground water is frozen, and reduces damage by frost.

Trees can be identified by looking at such characteristics as bark, leaves, and flowers, and in autumn by their fruits and nuts, some of which are shown on the right. The size and shape of the trunk and branches can also help to identify a tree, and scientists record the tree’s girth by measuring the distance around the trunk at chest height. You can study trees in your backyard, a local park or the wood following the same checks. Choose an area of mixed woodland with many different trees. Always take an adult with you to keep you safe.

IDENTIFYING TREES

YOU WILL NEED

Field guide to local trees, note book, pen, colored pencil.

STEP 1
STEP 1

Walk along a path in a park or in the woods. Try to identify the trees you find there from their general height and shape. Use a field guide on trees to help you.

STEP 2
STEP 2
Bark can help you identify some trees. Silver birch bark is smooth and white with dark cracks. Match the bark of different trees with pictures in your guide.


STEP 3
STEP 3
Study leaf colors and shapes, and the fruits and seeds of trees. Learn to identify trees with the help of the field guide, and make a record of them in a notebook.


MEASURING A TREE'S HEIGHT

YOU WILL NEED

Yardstick, l yd-long stick, felt-tipped pen.

step 1
STEP 1

With the yardstick, measure 19 yds from the tree and push the stick into the ground. Measure another yard from the stick and lie down straight on the ground.

step 2
STEP 2

Use one eye to line up the top of the tree with the stick. Get a friend to mark this point on the stick in the ground. The height of the tree is 20 times this distance.


MEASURING A TREE'S GIRTH

YOU WILL NEED

Sticky tape, string, yardstick or tape measure, pen, notebook, colored pencil, graph paper, field guide.

step 1
STEP 1

Stick a piece of tape on the end of a piece of string. Wrap the string around a tree trunk at chest height. Mark where it meets the tape with your finger.

step 2 STEP 2
Lay the string along the yardstick to find the length. This number is the girth of the tree. Measure another tree of the same species. Is its girth the same? Why might they differ?

step 3Chart
STEP 3

Make a chart with drawings of the different trees that you have measured. The trees with the thickest trunks are usually older than those with slender trunks.

Ring of Age
You can clearly see the growth rings on the turnk of this old oak tree. Each year, the tree grows a new ring of wood just under the bark.

Rings of age




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