Every week scientists and environmentalists remind us that the environment is in bad shape. One major area of concern is trees, with around 16 million hectares of forest cleared every year according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.
The first trees evolved
between about 400 350 million years ago, 120 million years before the first
dinosaurs. Today there are about 100,000 species of trees in the world.
Write a list of all of the products in your home that have come from trees. Are any of these recycled or recyclable?
Collect various samples from trees to make a botanical display, as if for a museum, showing the lifecycle of a tree.
Research the various ways Australian native flora germinate. For example some require fire, others floods or special birds. Display your findings on a poster.
Design and conduct an experiment showing how seeds grow.
Conduct a survey at the local supermarket to find out how many paper products are environmentally friendly. Categorise your results in a table.
List 50 uses for used newspapers. Make a product and promote it to the class.
Collect articles from The Mercury about the environment. Categorise on a billboard under the headings 'Use' and 'Abuse'. At the end of a month write what you have learned about people's use and abuse of the environment in a letter to the Editor.
Draw an annotated map identifying how products are sourced from trees.
Profile examples of responsible attitudes towards the environment in your school and community.
In pairs, list the timber resources we use daily in order from least to most important. Discuss the differences in your answers with the entire class.
Make an artwork about trees using a variety of techniques and materials. For example a collage of pressed flowers, leaf prints and bark rubbings.
Trees have evolved fascinating defences against attack, write a short article about their attackers and their defence strategies, e.g. sticky sap, spines, nasty tastes, etc.
Write a fairy tale about an enchanted forest.
Look at some of the current schemes for reforestation and tree conservation and outline your plan to save the forests.
A brief, but scientifically sound, look at the anatomy of the average tree. Looks at the trunk, branches, roots and a tree's response to wounds.
Information on the Bristlecone pine. Also a good rundown on photosynthesis and dendrochronology- the science of reading tree rings to date trees and wood.
National Arbor Day Foundation
Although the point of this site is to get Americans to take part in tree planting over there, it contains a lot of accessible information on trees and what amazing things they are.
Sponsor a tree and get your own web site home page, net based e-mail, and access to environmental information and news perfect for school projects. There are also lots of fun puzzles, games, activities and other stuff for children. You can also follow the progress of your tree and get updates on how you have helped to rejuvenate native animal habitats.
Find out how you can take part in National Tree Day in July, and get the latest on deforestation and other environmental news from around the globe.
A great site for those who want to learn more about the mysterious processes of photosynthesis, with detailed diagrams and a full chemical roundup of what happens during photosynthesis.
This concise and layman-friendly introduction to the natural history of trees, presents information on all aspects of tree biology and ecology. It shows how trees function, how they procure nutrients and produce food, how they grow and reproduce, and why they eventually die.
A stunning pictorial guide to some of natures greatest creations. Looks at how trees are born, grow and die, tree types, leaves, trunks, seeds, fruits and flowers, and all of the different uses for wood.
The essential guide to turning the tide of environmental destruction. The Bradley method of bush regeneration has been used for over two decades to push back the weeds and help the native plants remerge and take back their land.
than 900 species of plants crammed into one book you are bound to find
something here that you can stick in the ground and help restore some of