Tree ID competition
Source:Adapted from the Den of Airlie, expedition pack (SNH)
- To learn to recognise different trees by their leaf shapes
- To increase awareness and understanding of the natural world
You will need
- Tree ID worksheet
- Mature trees of as many different species as possible
- Glue sticks
Did you know?There are only a small number of trees that are native to Scotland. Some of the commonly planted species have been brought to Scotland from other parts of the world (Sitka Spruce, Douglas Fir, Norway Maple and Beech, for example). Beinn Eighe, Glen Affric and Abernethy National Nature Reserves are excellent examples of woodland habitats that may be interesting to study. See 'Where to go' for more information.
Before the ActivityIf time is available, do the Viewfinders activity in this section
The ActivityIntroduce the group to a commonly found tree. Ask them if they know what tree it is and how they recognise it. Explain that each type of tree can be recognised by its leaves, shape, bark, fruits and buds. Explain that they are going to have a competition to see how many different tree species they can find in 10 minutes. Divide the group into pairs or small teams. Give each team a worksheet and a glue stick. When they find a tree they need to take one small leaf and glue it to the worksheet in the right place. They could get bonus points for finding trees that are not on the worksheet and for identifying what the Celtic symbol beside some of the tree names on the sheet indicates (native trees).
Alternatively if you were following a woodland trail or were visiting several different places on a site, you could run the competition over the whole excursion. This activity would be ideal in the autumn when the leaves would be very appealing to collect and tree seeds could also be found.
Suggested Follow upFind out more about a particular tree species. Each child can choose a tree to research and find out, for example, its Scots, Gaelic and Latin names; where it likes to grow, how big it gets, what it can be used for or what it was used for in the past. Are there any amazing facts associated with their chosen tree? Was it important in Scottish folklore? They could take a bark rubbing, draw a leaf or take photographs. Each child could present their findings in a booklet.
Find out more about the uses of native and non-native trees in Scotland, both today and in the past.
- Tree ID competition sheet
- Information and illustrations on native trees, their uses and their folklore Trees for Life,
- Information and an illustration of
native treesin Scotland
- The wood product trail - information and a quiz about products from trees from all over the world (from the Forest Education Initiative website)
- A Tree Name Trail from Forestry Commission
- The Field Studies Council makes a laminated fold-out tree guide of common tree species
- Science - main
- Social subjects - associated
- Expressive Arts - associated