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Tree Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Debra Patuto

Debra has taught at elementary levels and has an M.ed with certification in elementary education and special education

This lesson will teach you about trees. We will take a close look at what a tree is and the different types of trees there are. We will also explore the life of a tree and learn why trees are so important to all living things.

What is a Tree?

When it comes to trees, America is truly unique. Did you know that America is home to the tallest, oldest and largest trees in the entire world? America not only has a special day, Arbor Day, where it is tradition each year to plant new trees, but on December 10, 2004, the oak tree officially became a new national symbol for the United States of America.

This oak tree is the national symbol of America.
oak tree

A tree is the largest type of plant and can live to be thousands of years old. A tree is made of wood and has a long stem called a trunk. The trunk is covered in an outside layer called bark and has roots that grow into the ground to provide support and nutrients. Above ground, the trunk grows upwards, branches grow outwards and leaves grow from the branches.

Types of Trees

There are two main types of trees, deciduous (shedding trees) and conifers (evergreen). Depending on what climate the deciduous tree lives, warm or cold, it will shed and grow new leaves at different times during the year. Conifers shed their needle-like leaves each year but are never completely without them, which makes them forEVER-GREEN!

How Trees Live and Grow

When the roots and leaves of a tree are fully grown, the tree can then produce its own food and also provide oxygen (air) into the atmosphere through a process called photosynthesis.

Each year trees grow upward and outward. Just under the bark of a tree is the phloem, which food travels through to get to the different parts of the tree. The xylem (sapwood) layer that is under the phloem allows water to be carried from the roots up to the top of the tree. New sapwood is produced each year. The neat thing about the old sapwood is that it makes a ring inside the tree each year. You can count these rings to find out the age of the tree.

This picture shows the rings of sapwood. How old do you think this tree is?
rings

Reproduction

All deciduous trees produce flowers that must be pollinated in order to make seeds. Acorns are seeds produced by an oak tree. They are heavy so they fall from the trees. Maple trees produce a winged seed that floats down from the trees and spins like the blades of a helicopter down to the ground. Wind and rain also helps to move seeds out of the trees.

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