planting the 
next generation 3

Up With Trees offers Tree School

Many of us know about Up with Trees and the wonderful services they provide for our city.  Most would say Up With Trees is known for planting trees all along the roads of our city.  Which is true and just one of the wonderful things this organization does for our community.  Did you know Up With Trees offers Tree School?

Tree School is an amazing program that Up With Trees offers to our local schools systems. Tulsa public school is one of the first school systems the program has started in, but plans to expand to other local schools systems in the future.

I was recently asked to help teach the Tree School program with a good friend of mine John Kahre and was delighted to be part of such an amazing program.

The program is currently being taught to 4th and 7th grade students and some of the classes have been adjusted for High schools students as well.

During the program we visit the school on four different occasions, during each one hour session  we teach the students very important information such as the benefits of trees, tree biology, we  also teach  students the importance of planting the right tree in the right place and to make sure not to plant trees under or near power lines.  We then move on to the importance of caring for trees, making sure trees are healthy and how to tell if the tree is not healthy.

This is usually a fun day because we take the students outside to observe the trees they have on their school campus.   Students get to measure the trees, touch the trees, and we discuss the shape and size that each tree is expected to be and if it is planted in the right place or not.  Then students get in groups and inspect the trees for pests or disease, and if any of the trees are in need of removal.

On our last class session we do a recap and then we give the students a small tree identification book and ask them to tell us what tree in the book is their favorites.  The students then get to make posters about their favorite tree, telling us fun facts about the trees and why this is their favorite tree.

I really loved some of the answers some of the children would give about why this is their favorite tee.  Some were the usual – “I like this tree because the leaves are shaped like a heart” or “We like this tree because the leaves change colors in the fall”.  But one of my favorites I would keep hearing was “We like this Maple tree because it gives us maple syrup”.  I always just had to laugh at this answer.

After the final tree school session is over the students get to plant trees on the school campus.  This is usually an interesting day where we see the students asking all sorts of questions about the trees being planted, what kind of tree is that, how big will it get, where are we planting this tree, is this a fruit tree?   So exciting to see how much the students have learned about trees in just a short amount of time.

I am thrilled to be part of the Tree School program and hope to continue teaching it for many years to come.  Trees are such an important part of our lives and I love teaching others all about trees and the important role that trees play in our lives.