Monday, October 21, 2013

Tree Nurseries at Huntertown Elementary, Eel River Elementary, Cedar Canyon Elementary, Oak View Elementary and Towles Montessori Schools

Link to my store to purchase a tree lesson plan at a bargain price!

Wonder of wonders, we’ve had some trees sprout at the tree nurseries we started last fall!  Trees Indiana started tree nurseries at five local elementary schools to supply students with learning experiences about the urban forest.  
Some schools, such as Huntertown Elementary, Eel River Elementary and Cedar Canyon Elementary started their trees from scratch.   That is to say that they planted the trees from seeds.  First, the students learned about collecting and stratifying the seeds.   As a group we collected them and then put them in cold frames over the winter.  Seeds collected included acorns, maple, ash, catalpa and osage orange.   Students learned about the parts of a seed and even dissected some in the fall. 
Other schools, such as Towles Montessori and Oak View Elementary planted seedlings which included oak, tulip and redbud trees.  These trees all seem to be doing well, although a few were lost over the summer, perhaps due to irregular watering schedules.  That is always the tricky part about planting trees at school sites.  There aren’t any students around to help in the summer, although the rest of the school year yields wonderful assistance.
It was very exciting to see tiny trees sprouting from seeds.   The best results came from the osage orange trees.   Students did an experiment in which seeds were removed from the pulpy (and sticky) fruit and compared with whole fruits and pieces of fruit that were planted.    The seeds that came up well were from the whole fruit and fruit pieces.   In fact, that was almost the only type of tree that sprouted at the sites.  There were two catalpa sprouts and one oak sprout.    Students will revise methods and replant again this fall.