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Deciduous forest ©  Shirley Burchill

 

Tree and Fruit Identification

TREE

PHOTO

FRUIT

OAK

Branches of an oak tree

Acorns

SYCAMORE

Sycamore tree with fruits

Sycamore fruits

ASH

Ash tree

Ash fruits

BIRCH

Birch tree

Birch fruits 

HAWTHORN

Hawthorn

Hawthorn fruits

ALDER

Alder

Alder fruits

HORNBEAM

Hornbeam

Hornbeam fruit

MAPLE

Maple

Maple fruit

 

Project Work

As a homework project you could match the fruits with the plants in the forest.

You should use both the Internet and the reference books in the school library to research your project.

There are many different ways for you to present your project:

  • You can use the actual leaves and fruits and make a collage.

  • You can draw and colour your leaves and fruits

  • You could take pictures of the leaves and fruits either when you are in the forest or later at home. These pictures can be used to illustrate your project.

 

The Activities

Activity A:: Studying soil and taking a depth sample with an auger.

Activity B: Taking temperature, light and humidity readings at eight different positions in the forest.

Activity C: Identifying leaf litter and collecting a sample

Activity E: Investigating a freshwater pond

FIELD WORK

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Activity D: Collecting different leaves and fruits

The forest vegetation can be divided into three layers.

The Canopy : All the tall trees with branches that spread out above you. These trees are in competition for the light. Their leaves and branches often block direct sunlight from the smaller plants in their shadow.

Trees in the Canopy

Trees are often identified by the shape of their leaves. The table shows shadow prints of the leaves of trees found in the forest. The leaves are not to scale. The actual length of each leaf (not including the stem) is given.

Use the leaf shadow sheets to identify as many trees as possible. Keep one leaf of each species you find and keep them in a plastic bag. Try to find a still living and complete leaf from the forest floor rather than taking it from a tree. Also collect as many different fruits as you can from the forest floor.

 

Sweet chestnut leaf

Sweet Chestnut

actual length = 11cm

Hornbeam leaf 

Hornbeam      

actual length = 8cm

Oak leaf 

Oak

actual length = 9cm

Hazel leaf 

Hazel

actual length = 8cm

Sycamore leaf 

Sycamore

actual length = 5cm

Maple leaf 

Maple

actual length = 6cm

Birch leaf 

Birch

actual length = 4cm

Cherry leaf 

Cherry

actual length = 4cm

Hawthorn leaf 

Hawthorn

actual length = 3,5cm

Rowan leaf 

Rowan

actual length = 8cm

Ash leaf 

Ash

actual length = 9cm

Alder leaf 

Alder

actual length = 6cm

 

The Field Layer : These plants are less tall. The field layer consists of all the plants which are above the forest floor at any height up to about one metre. (Note that young trees, or saplings, are part of the field layer).

Plants of the Field Layer

Plants are often identified by the shape of their leaves. The table shows shadow prints of the leaves of plants found in the forest. The images are not to scale. The actual length of each leaf (not including the stem) is given.

 

Bramble leaf

Bramble

actual length = 6cm

Wild rose leaf

Wild Rose

actual length = 4,5cm

Cow wheat leaf 

Cow Wheat

actual length = 5cm

Dog's mercury leaf 

Dog's Mercury

actual length = 3,5cm

Nettle leaf 

Nettle

actual length = 7,5cm

Honeysuckle leaf 

Honeysuckle

actual length = 4,5cm

Ivy leaf 

Ivy

actual length = 3,5cm

Wintergreen leaf 

Wintergreen

actual length = 5cm

 

The Ground Layer : These plants remain close to the forest floor, only growing a few centimetres above it.

Plants of the Ground Layer

 

Wavy hair-grass 

Wavy Hair-Grass

actual average height = 7cm

Piece of moss 

Moss

actual height = 1,5cm

 

 

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© Paul Billiet, Shirley Burchill, Alan Damon and Deborah James 2017

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