Do trees travel?

This week 4C asked the question “Do trees travel?

To try and answer this question we looked at sycamore trees which were apparently introduced into this country by the Romans and now grow all the way across the UK. So perhaps our question was already answered?

The seeds on a sycamore tree are called samaras and we examined them carefully, taking photos and drawing them so that we could identify all their features. Here are some of our drawings and photos:

We also made a paper “helicopter” so that we could compare how well our samaras flew compared with our paper ones:

We then took our Samaras and helicopters outside and tried to film them as they fell, whirling through the air.

Our conclusion?

Trees do travel, but very slowly. A sycamore tree can produce huge numbers of seeds which can travel on the wind a reasonable distance from the parent tree but it then takes many years for that see to grow into a tree which can produce more seeds to travel the next section of their journey. In this way, trees have moved north and south with the Ice Ages have changed the climate over thousands of years. Climate change caused by humans may be too rapid for a lot of trees so we may need to give them a helping hand …. just like the Romans did with the sycamores!

Exploring Trees

For the past few weeks 4C have been exploring trees on a Wednesday afternoon. We have had a look at some of the different trees around the school grounds, collected some leaves and tried to identify some of them using the Woodland Trust app. At this time of year we can identify trees using their leaves or their fruit or seeds.

Trees are incredibly important in our environment and we need to protect the ones we have and grow as many more as we can. If you want to know more about working with trees and what is happening in Leeds about tree planting then there is an event on Friday 10 November.

Alwoodley2030 also have lots of events being planned, some of which involve caring for or planting trees.

Wind Pollination

Today, 4C have been investigating wind pollination, in particular how wind helps silver birch trees to produce new seed and new plants. We went out into the school grounds and had a closer look at some of the silver birch trees and took a small number of cuttings of their catkins and leaves. These we took back indoors to inspect more closely, to photograph and to draw. We also found some insects amongst the cuttings!
What do you think of the photos? (Click on the photos to see larger picture and start a slide show)