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Free Tree Study & Lapbook

Tree Study & Lapbook
by Lynn Pitts

Lapbook Extras
Cover Page
Tree Shape Books & Blank Books (use as desired)


Broad-leaved tree: a tree with thin, flat leaves instead of needles

Conifer: a tree with cones instead of flowers

Evergreen: a plant that stays green all year round

Nutrients: parts of food, like vitamins, that are used for growth

Sap: food that the tree makes and stores for growth

Sapling: a young tree

Limb: a large branch of a tree

Stem: the part of a tree that keeps it up

Trunk: the tall main stem of a tree

Twig: a small tree branch

Branch: the part of tree that grows out from the trunk

Bark: a tough outside part of a woody plant

Vocabulary accordion book

Types of Trees

There are two main kinds of trees-- broad-leaved tree and conifer tree.

Broad-leaved trees have thin and flat leaves. They are shaped like globes or eggs. Where winters are cold, most of these types of trees will lose their leaves. In the fall, the leaves turn yellow, gold, red, orange, and brown. Some examples of broad-leaved trees are Maple, Oak, Birch, Apple and Cherry.

Conifer trees have needles instead of leaves. Some have triangle shapes that help snow to slide off the branches. They also have cones and most are evergreens. An evergreen stays green all year. Some conifer trees are Fir, Cedar, Spruce and Pine.

Types of Trees flap book

Identifying Trees

You can identify a tree by looking at the shapes of its leaves. The leaves of a broad-leaved tree can be divided into two types- simple and compound.

Compound leaves include some of the biggest leaves. They can measure 3 ft from stalk to tip, so bit that at first sight they look like collections of separate leaves attached to one stalk. A closer look shows that this is not so. Compound leaves each grow from a single bud, and when autumn comes many of them fall off in one piece, each leaving a large leaf scar where they were attached to the tree.

Some Simple leaves are smooth-edged, some are rough-edged. Some are very big and broad while others are small and thin. They are a single leaf growing on one stalk.

Needles and scales of Conifers are quite unlike the leaves of broad-leaved trees. They have parallel veins and a hard or leathery surface. They remain on the tree year round.

Tree Identification Book

Draw a picture of the seeds that come from a tree you found.   Draw or attach a photo of your tree.  Draw or attach a photo of the leaves that are on your tree. You can also do leaf rubbings.

Tree I.D. book

Comparing Trees

*Needles or scaly leaves
*Triangle shape
*Cones hold seeds

*Flat, thin leaves
*Round, oval, or umbrella shaped
*Fruits hold seeds
*Lose leaves in Fall

*Make food
*Grow a layer of wood each year
*Covered with bark
*Heartwood core

Comparing Trees Venn diagram

How Trees Make and Store Food

Like other plants, trees spend the summer making food. All trees need water, air and sunshine. The roots soak up nutrients and water from the ground. The green parts soak up sunlight and air. Tree leaves, like all green leaves, make their own food. They make a kind of sugar from water and air. The heat of the sun does the work. The food a tree makes is called sap. Sap is stored in the trunk over the winter. It used this stored sap to grow new leaves in the Spring. Some of the food is also there to help the tree grow. Every year a little is added to the ends of the twigs and branches.

Make & Store Food minit book


All trees begin as seeds. They come in different shapes and sizes. A seed sprouts when a small root begins to grow. As it absorbs water and minerals, a tiny stem with just two small leaves begins to grow above the soil. A young tree is called a seedling. Seedlings grow tall and spread wide. As the stem becomes hard enough it is called wood. Small branches begin to appear as buds that turn into tiny leaves. The hard, woody stem is now called a tree trunk.  Being tall helps the tree reach the sunlight it needs to make food. After three years, the seedling becomes a sapling.

Seeds interlock book

Parts of a Trunk

A tree trunk has a solid core of strong wood. It is called heartwood.  Around the heartwood is a layer of sapwood which carries the water and nutrients from the roots up to the leaves. Each year, a new layer of wood grows below the bark. The layer makes a ring around the whole tree. Each ring has two colors. The light part is called early wood which grows in the spring. The dark part is called late wood and grows in the summer. Each ring of a tree represents one year in its life and is formed in the sapwood layer. Around the sapwood is a layer of inner bark or cambium. The inner bark carries food from the leaves down to the roots. This also forms new growth for the trunk of a tree each year. Around the inner bark or cambium layer is the phloem layer. This carries the food made by the leaves to the branches, trunk, and roots of the tree. The outside layer is called the bark. This is there to protect and hold up the tree. It helps protect from weather, insects and animals. It also keeps water inside the tree.

Parts of a Trunk shutterflap


Roots are what grow underground and help hold the trunk in the ground. Roots also keep the tree from falling when the wind blows. They also keep the rain from washing the tree out of the ground. They grow like branches under the ground. A tree could not live without roots; they do so much for the tree! They take water from the ground and carry it into the trunk of the tree. Tiny root hairs at the tip of the roots take in water and minerals from the soil to help the tree grow. Many trees have as many roots below the ground as they have branches above.

All About Roots minit book


Leaves of a tree make food for it to grow. The leaves pull up water from the roots and breathe in gas from the air called carbon dioxide. Inside leaves is a substance called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll in the leaves gathers energy from the sun. It mixes with water and carbon dioxide to create food for the tree called sugar. This process is called photosynthesis. It is a plant making food. When leaves make their own food they also make a gas called oxygen.   The leaves release this into the air. This is what people and animals breathe.   Most of the oxygen in the air comes from trees.

All About Leaves minit book

Leaf Unit at Homeschool Share

Life Cycle of an Oak Tree

1) In late autumn, an acorn falls from an adult oak tree. The leaves fall, too.

2) The acorn grows a root. It lies asleep for the winter.

3) In spring, the seedling grows a shoot with two leaves.

4) The seedling grows more leaves by the end of summer.

5) After three years, the seedling becomes a sapling.

6) After 40 years the oak tree is fully grown.

7) In late spring, the tree grows flowers.

8) In early autumn there are acorns on the tree.

Life of an Oak Tree flap book

How We Use Trees

Trees give us wood to build homes and fuel to keep warm. In summer, they provide shade. They also provide fruit and nuts to eat. They give us oxygen to breathe.

Uses for Trees t-book

Your State Tree

Do research for your state tree.

What is it?
How tall does it grow?
What kind of leaves does it have? Conifer, broad-leaved (Simple or compound?) Does it have flowers?
What is the history behind using this tree for a symbol in your state?

State Tree petal book

Interesting Facts

The tallest trees in the world are California redwoods. They can grow to be 400 feet tall.
The oldest tree on record is a bristlecone pine on Mt. Wheeler, Nevada. It was 4,900 years old when it was cut down.
Trees are the largest living things in the world.
Trees cover about a third of the Earth’s surface.
The heaviest trees are giant sequoias. They are believed to weigh 2 milLion tons and are up to 270 feet tall.

Interesting Facts wheel

Tree Poem
use as copywork or for memory work

Trees by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Poem Printable

Book Basket
Fun With Nature by Mel Boring
Meeting Trees by Scott Russell Sander
Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing the Trees by Jim Arnosky
A Hole in the Tree by Jean Craighead George
The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco
The Great Kapok Tree by Lynn Cherry
Sky Tree by Thomas Locker
A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry
Night Tree by Eve Bunting (Christmas theme)
Pie in the Sky by Lois Ehlert
The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall
The Gift of the Tree by Alvin Tresselt
Tell Me Tree by Gail Gibbons
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein