Christmas Tree Science: Part I

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If you purchase live Christmas trees for the holidays, do you take note of which species of tree you selected? This activity encourages those of all ages to use their observation skills to identify their Christmas tree, and is a simple way to incorporate science learning at home during any holiday downtime.

Intended Learning Outcomes: After completing this activity, you will be able to describe the major features and species of Christmas trees being sold today, as well as identify the species of your personal tree.

Step 1. Remove a small, inconspicuous branch from your tree and place on a white sheet of paper. 

Step 2. Identify the type of tree by referring to the guides through the links below.  Be sure to focus on the shapes and colors of the needles and branches.

Five Types of Live Christmas Trees

National Christmas Tree Association

Step 3. Answer the questions below.

  • What are major species of Christmas trees being sold today? How are they the similar? How are they different?
  • Which species of Christmas tree do you have, and how do you know?
  • What features do you think make a nice Christmas tree?

Step 4. Hold onto your branch to complete the next featured activity.

Step 5. Lastly, don’t forget to recycle your tree at the end of the season!

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