A Tree Workshop with the Thursday Home School Group! (I took off last week to attend a retirement reception for my husband..36 years with Delta!) This week, we discussed trees and how to identify the different trees. Georgia has over 250 species of trees. One website, Native Trees of Georgia has a printable PDF that not only provides a sketch and description of the tree, but it also provides important information and uses of the tree. I printed off 15 of the most common trees here at The Cabin Path. Along our walk, we stopped to talk about the different trees, and we collected a leaf off of each one to make our tree ID booklet.
Tulip Poplar, Maple, Oak, Long Needle Pine, Red Cedar..to name a few, but one that we noticed was the Sourwood. Bee keepers love the Sourwood blooms for their bees, and there has been a decline of this tree in the south. We began to notice that most of the Sourwoord Trees were crooked and leaning, and many were even uprooted. We decided that they did not grow upright and strong like the Oaks and Poplars, and maybe that is one reason for their decline.
We also noted the abundance of Sweet Gum Trees. The Sweet Gum leaf is star shaped, and it is easy to identify. The round seeds, the Sweet Gum Balls are also easy to remember!
We learned that pianos are often made from Sweet Gum wood! We noticed many newly sprouted Sweet Gum trees. We thought that the seeds would be hard for a bird or small animal to eat because they are so prickly, so maybe more were left to sprout! We agreed that they make wonderful additions to our art projects!
We also measured the temperature difference in the woods and at the Gathering Room. The thermometer in the woods read 74, and when we returned, the Gathering Room deck measured 85! Trees are nature air conditioners in addition to being nature air filters!
All along the trails, we saw insects and animals that were dependent on trees for food and shelter. We talked about products that we use everyday that come from trees, and ways that we could conserve our use of tree products.
Some even brought back limbs for a fort that they want to build!
We made Tree Identification booklets using 5X8 blank note cards, binding rings, and the leaves we collected. We also did some leaf stamping.
After our picnic, we went down to the lake to just sit and enjoy the herons, turtles, and water, and we saw a new tree that the beaver had chopped down.
Andrew agreed that sometimes even an old fallen tree makes a good place to just sit and enjoy the day!