Christmas Tree Science: Part II

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Overview: Evergreen trees have needles that are considered modified leaves. These needles help the tree endure seasonal fluctuations. This activity builds off of a previous post. Now that you have identified your tree, take time to explore its needles a little more closely.

Intended Learning Outcomes: At the completion of this activity you will be able to:

  • Describe major features of evergreen tree needles.
  • Make your own air freshener and/or essential oils from evergreen tree needles.

Materials Needed: Evergreen tree branch (freshly cut work best), magnifying glass, other items needed as listed


Observations: Examine the needles of a fresh evergreen tree branch with the magnifying glass. Take notice of the waxy coat that covers the needles. How do these leaves differ from those of non-evergreen trees? What do you think is the purpose of the wax? 

Experiments: Many evergreen  trees have a wonderful scent. Try to extract the scents or essential oils from the needles by following the steps noted in the links below. 

Fill Your House with Aroma of Evergreen Trees

Extract Essential Oils from Evergreen Trees 

Enjoy the nice aromas! Happy Holidays!


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