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Life Cycle of Trees: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

The circle of life is a beautiful thing and the life cycle of a tree is no exception. Come and learn about the different phases within the life cycle of a tree in this lesson.

The Beginning

Dogs begin as puppies. Cats begin as kittens. Humans begin as babies. So, what do plants begin as? Seeds! The seed will be different depending on what kind of tree it is. For example, pine trees begin from seeds from a pine cone. Oak trees begin from acorns. Some seeds come from the tree's fruit, while others are inside nuts. Some seeds are big, while others are small.

Regardless of all this, the seed is the earliest stage in the life cycle of a tree. They are reproduced by the male and female parts of the tree and with the right amount of sunlight, water, and soil, they will begin to grow.

Starting to Grow

Just like little babies grow into children, the seeds grow into sprouts. You see, there is a little sprout inside of the seed that is just waiting for sunlight. Eventually, the sprout will find the light and pop out of the seed.

This is the first time that you will see a stem and maybe a few leaves. Roots are also beginning to grow and secure themselves into the soil. Like being a child, there are many things that could put the sprout in danger. Many sprouts end up being killed by too much water, not enough water, fire, or being eaten by a bug or animal.

Aww - look at the cute little sprout!
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Still Growing

What happens after childhood? You become a teenager, of course! Think of the sapling stage as the teenager stage for trees. They are bigger than sprouts but are not quite big enough to be considered mature trees.

Have you ever seen a skinny tree that was being held up with rope or wire? That was most likely a sapling. Think of them as mini trees - they are normally short with very slim trunks. Just like the teenager stage, saplings grow quickly. But they are unable to reproduce (grow seeds) at this point.

This sapling will be a mature tree in no time!
sapling

All Grown Up

Our little baby seed is all grown up! It is finally a mature tree. This is the adult stage of its life and now the tree is fully grown and can grow seeds, fruit, and/or nuts. There are many branches, the trunk is wide, and the leaves are bright and flourishing. Since it can reproduce, the life cycle can start again.

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