The Trees of Winter

Did you ever stop and think about the trees in your neighborhood?  Can you identify which trees you see? Did you know there are even famous Celebritrees? Between December 16, 2013 and January 5, 2014, use these activities to find the importance of trees as part of the Winter Learning Challenge.


  • Look for an evergreen, or conifer, tree in your neighborhood. (These types of trees have green needle-like leaves throughout the year.) Identify the type of tree using the online tree identification guide. Then, draw a detailed picture of your tree and record information about it, such as:
    • Type of tree
    • Date and the location of the tree
    • Label the trunk, branches, crown, twigs, leaves and roots
    • Point out any special characteristics of the tree, such as scars, seeds or cones, bark, etc.
  • Adopt a tree and keep track of this tree as the seasons change and record your observations.

  • Estimate the height of a tree using your body as a scientific tool. Face away from a tree. Bend over and look at the tree though your legs. Can you see the top of the tree? If not, keep moving away from the tree until you can just see the top of it through your legs. Measure the distance between you and the tree. This will be about the height of the tree! That’s tree-gonometry (actually, its trigonometry, the study of triangles).
  • The tallest tree in the world is 379.1 feet. That’s taller than the length of a football field!
  • Did you know that a single beaver can chop down up to 200 trees a year! See how beavers use trees to build a dam.


  • Write a poem in the shape of a tree.
  • Create your own unique tree using a paper bag.
  • Make a winter break fun tree. You will need:
    • 2 pieces of green construction paper
    • 1 piece brown construction paper
    • Marker/Pencil
    • Scissors
    • Tape
  1. Fold the green construction paper in half. Draw a conifer tree pattern on one side. Cut out the pattern. Fold each tree piece in half, unfold and cut one piece from the top to the middle and one piece from the bottom to the middle. Slide the two pieces together to make your tree. Use tape to reinforce the cuts.
  2. Cut out pine cone shapes and write one fun activity you want to do with your family over the winter break. Tape them to your tree. When you've completed an activity, take the pine cone off the tree and create a memory page of all your winter break activities!