Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

The Naturalist's Apprentice: Trees in Winter

Once students complete this exercise, see how many of these species they can find outside. Only a few characters are used in this exercise. Obtain a winter tree guide and take the students out to see how many more species can be identified in the school yard. Keep track of your identifications and see if they still agree with their decisions once the leaves come out in the spring.


Students can make a twig collection much the same way they make a leaf collection at other times of the year. They should collect twigs that have at least four buds. These can be pressed in a plant press or a book, and later mounted on paper. The students should take general notes on the description of the tree from which the twig is removed (height, type of bark, how branched) and keep it with the sample.


* buds--growing point of leaves, often covered with protective scales.

* twigs--small, fine branch tips.

* alternate buds--buds growing singly on the twig, on alternate sides of the twig.

* opposite bud--two buds growing at the same height on a twig, but on opposite sides.

Answers to Trees in Winter:
1= b and k, 2=j, 3=f, 4=c, 5=e, 6=d, 7=a, 8=h, 9=i, 10=g






























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