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Trees of North America

Life Science - Middle School

 
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Trees live longer than most living things on Earth. Some bristle cone pines have lived more than 5,000 years. Like all plants, trees play an important role for life on Earth. They make oxygen, take up carbon dioxide, and provide food, shade and habitats for animals, as well as building materials and fuel for people. They also enrich our lives with their beautiful shapes, smells and colors. Trees can be broken down into two large groups. The gymnosperms include the conifers. The angiosperms include deciduous trees. Below is an identifcation guide for thirteen common trees. Which trees live in your community? White Ash Fraxinus americana The 8-12" long leaves are compound with leaflets growing on each side down a long stem. Sugar Maple Acer saccharum Leaves are about 5"wide with five lobes and U -shaped valleys between them. The edges are smooth. Red Maple Acer rubrum Leaves are 5" wide with lobes and v-shaped valleys between them. The edges are double-toothed. Northern Red Oak Quercus rubra Leaves are darker green above and 5-8" long. They have seven to eleven sharp pointed lobes. White Oak Quercus alba Leaves are greener above and 4-9" long with rounded lobes. Widest part of the leaf is past the middle. Paper Birch Betula papyrifera Leaves are 2-4" long, pointed and dull green with teeth. Bark is white and peeling. American Beech Fagus grandifolia Pointed leaves are 2½-5" long and toothed. Bark is gray and smooth. White Cedar Thuja occidentalis Leaves are flat and overlapping, with yellow- green scales. Tiny ½" long oval cones sit upright. Balsam Fir Abies balsamea Needles are flat, shiny, soft and ½-1" long. Cones are 3" long, purplish-green, tube- shaped and sit upright on the top branches. Eastern Hemlock Tsuga canadensis Needles are flat and ½" long. They are shiny, dark green and soft. Tiny ½" long, brown, oval cones hang down on drooping branches. Black Spruce Picea mariana Needles are blue-green, stiff and spiky. They are ½" long and spiral all around drooping twigs. Oval cones are ½-1" long and hang down. Red Pine Pinus resinosa Needles are dark green, 4-6" long, and grouped in twos. The oval cones are 1-2½" long and rounded. Eastern White Pine Pinus strobus Needles are blue-green, 2½-5" long and grouped in fives. Cones are 4-8" long, thin and tube- shaped, with long stalks. Trees of North America Angiosperms - Deciduous Trees Gymnosperms - Coniferous Trees
Trees live longer than most living things on Earth. Some bristle cone pines have lived more than _________________________ years. Like all plants, trees play an important role for life on Earth. They make ________________________________, take up carbon dioxide, and provide food, shade and habitats for animals, as well as building materials and fuel for people. They also enrich our lives with their beautiful shapes, smells and colors. Trees can be broken down into two large groups. The gymnosperms include the _______________________________. The angiosperms include deciduous trees. Below is an identifcation guide for thirteen common trees. Which trees live in your community? _____________________ Fraxinus americana The 8-12" long leaves are compound with leaflets growing on each side down a long stem. _____________________ Acer saccharum Leaves are about 5" wide with five lobes and U -shaped valleys between them. The edges are smooth. _____________________ Acer rubrum Leaves are 5" wide with lobes and v-shaped valleys between them. The edges are double- toothed. _____________________ Quercus rubra Leaves are darker green above and 5-8" long. They have seven to eleven sharp pointed lobes. _____________________ Quercus alba Leaves are greener above and 4-9" long with rounded lobes. Widest part of the leaf is past the middle. _____________________ Betula papyrifera Leaves are 2-4" long, pointed and dull green with teeth. Bark is white and peeling. _____________________ Fagus grandifolia Pointed leaves are 2½-5" long and toothed. Bark is gray and smooth. ____________________ Thuja occidentalis Leaves are flat and overlapping, with yellow- green scales. Tiny ½" long oval cones sit upright. ____________________ Abies balsamea Needles are flat, shiny, soft and ½-1" long. Cones are 3" long, purplish-green, tube- shaped and sit upright on the top branches. ____________________ Tsuga canadensis Needles are flat and ½" long. They are shiny, dark green and soft. Tiny ½" long, brown, oval cones hang down on drooping branches. ____________________ Picea mariana Needles are blue-green, stiff and spiky. They are ½" long and spiral all around drooping twigs. Oval cones are ½-1" long and hang down. ____________________ Pinus resinosa Needles are dark green, 4-6" long, and grouped in twos. The oval cones are 1-2½" long and rounded. ____________________ Pinus strobus Needles are blue-green, 2½- 5" long and grouped in fives. Cones are 4-8" long, thin and tube-shaped, with long stalks. Trees of North America Angiosperms - Deciduous Trees Gymnosperms - Coniferous Trees 94-4049
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