Make a Tree Journal

tape seeds

Learn all about trees by observing them with a worksheet or journal.

What You Need

  • Clipboard
  • Crayon
  • Journal (optional)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Sit-upon (optional) – This would be something insulated and waterproof to sit on while you observe your tree
  • Tape
  • Tree Identification Guide (optional)
  • Tree Observation Worksheet (optional)

What You Do

  1. Print out your tree observation worksheet and/or bring a blank journal.
    Our tree observation worksheet asks lots of good questions about trees that can get you observing.
    If you put your checklist on a clipboard, it makes it easier to write your notes.tree journal checklist
  2. Pick a tree.
    Do you have a tree near your home that you have admired but not really observed up close? Or is there one in a park nearby?tree hug
  3. Make a bark rubbing.
    Lay your worksheet or a page from your journal on the tree bark. Use the side of your crayon to rub lightly and you’ll see the texture of the bark on your paper.bark rub
  4. Collect some seeds and leaves.
    Try to pick these up from the ground. Tape them to your worksheet or journal page. Or if you can’t find any on the ground, try drawing them instead.tape seeds
  5. Measure the circumference of the tree trunk.
    It would be interesting to do this every year or a few times per year to see how your tree is growing.measuring tree
  6. Estimate the width of your tree.
    Stand with your arms outstretched by your tree. Estimate the full width of the tree from the farthest tips of its branches. Estimate how tall is your tree.measure tree with arms
  7. Count the visible roots of the tree.
    Some trees have a lot of visible roots, and some do not.
    If yours has a lot of roots sticking up, you might consider putting mulch around the base of the tree. Mulch helps keep the tree roots moist by holding in water from the rain.counting tree roots
  8. Play in your tree.
    Trees are homes to many wildlife. Why not you?tree playing