Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pine Trees

Pine tree

Finally getting back into our nature study!  We were so excited to have a plan and get moving along!

So after looking at the Winter Study ideas on THIS blog – we decided to take on Challenge #5 : Pine Trees

Outdoor Hour Challenge
Winter Series #5

Pine Trees in Winter

Inside Preparation Work:
This week read in the Handbook of Nature Study pages 670-675 to learn more about pine trees. Even if you don’t think you have any pines in your area, it is still interesting to read the information for future reference. Make sure to note the ideas suggested for studying pines in the lesson at the end of the section.
Outdoor Hour Time:
Spend 15 minutes outdoors this week with your children in your own yard or on your own street. This week you will have two suggested activities.

We chose this one primarily because we have lots of our own pine trees.  I hope to go back and do a few of the other challenges because we really are enjoying this one!

pine cones on tree

What we learned :

What a conifer is : a cone bearing tree.  We talked about how the lead branch of the tree (the one that grows the tallest and is the “leader” ) had a beetle that likes to eat the top, bore into the branch, and then eventually kill the branch.  ~Interesting!  Another interesting part is that another branch then will take over the leadership role and lead the tree.

{We learned all this from our Handbook of Nature Study by Anne Comstock}

We also learned that the Pine Trees on the West coast grow about 100 ft taller (200-300 ft) then those on the East Coast (100-200 ft).  This was interesting too, since we were able to talk about the trees we saw in person last year in Maine and Oregon!

pinecones a

I hope to sketch some pine cones later this week – maybe a couple different kinds.

Yesterday we did enjoy watercolor painting pine trees though :

So, I am looking forward to working through many challenges each season as we are more deliberate about getting out and studying the nature right here in our yard!!


  1. This is a great challenge to start with since you have some experience with your own pines. They are such great trees and so much fun to paint. I am really glad you are jumping in to the series and I look forward to your next entry.

    Thanks for sharing your link with the OHC.

  2. I'm SO glad I checked over here this morning from HHH! We're taking a break before doing OUR Pine Tree study! We have Eastern Pines here in Maine...and in our yard we have many old and young trees to compare. It should be a fun study!