Trees are vital to our planet and contribute to the environment in a myriad of ways. In addition to supplying the world with wood products, trees help maintain the balance of our planet’s ecosystems, regulate climate, provide a habitat for animals, prevent soil erosion, and are an important source of food for both animals and humans.
Show your gratitude for trees by celebrating each of the gifts they provide.
Use our printable version to discuss some of the ways in which trees provide for us on a daily basis. Simply cut apart the pine cones, ask your child to finding the matching picture on the tree, and glue it on top. If you come up with other gifts from a tree on your own, draw/label each item on a blank pine cone, included in your set of cut outs, and add them to your tree.
How many of these things can you find in your home or just outside your window?
As you discuss the items on the tree, it’s important to note that not all of these items come from one single species of tree.
For instance, did you know:
- The rubber coated cork in the center of a Major League baseball comes from the natural rubber of a tropical Hevea tree. The Hevea tree also produces a liquid rubber called latex which is used to make balloons.
- Tree resin, found inside the bark of a tree, can be processed into an ingredient called propolis cera and propolis extract which often provides the flavor found in toothpaste.
- While it’s true that all trees produce oxygen, some trees like maple, beech, spruce, and the Douglas-fir produce more than others. And since oxygen is a product of photosynthesis, most deciduous trees that lose their leaves in the fall can’t take in carbon dioxide or produce any oxygen until their leaves return in the spring.
- All flowering trees produce fruit, but conifers (like the one shown in the printable) produce cones instead of fruit.
Do some more research to find other ways in which trees provide for us on Earth. For which gift are you and your family most grateful?