The Tree Report

In this report I will discuss what a tree is, how trees naturally support our environment, what sort of life inhabits them.

Biome

Deciduous Trees

Deciduous Trees

In our forest the trees are deciduous; that means they loose their leaves. The majority of trees in our forest are post oaks, but we also have juniper, and cedar elms. These are called outliers. Our forest is a biome.

Trees are a huge part of our environment. Their dead leaves make beautiful soil for the undergrowth. The dead branches create a home for bugs and fungi, and trees give out oxygen, and breathe in the carbon dioxide we breathe out. Giving out oxygen is a big help in our polluted world.

If you look at a tree compared to a human, outside the difference is obvious, inside we have somethingin common with trees.  Think about it, a tree’s sap is like our blood. The tree actually has organs, like we do. The tree’s three basic organs are the roots, the stem and the leaves.

Micro Biomes 

A tree is a micro biome. A tree is like its own environment.  It has all sorts of small mammals, birds, bugs, fungi, and parasitic invaders. The parasitic invaders are things like mistletoe. They eventually suck all the life out of their tree.

Mistletoe

Mistletoe

 

Fungi grow on dead branches and wood.  This orange fungus is similar to the Alder Bracket tree fungus.

Tree fungus.

Tree Fungus

 

More Tree Fungus

More Tree Fungus

Mammals like squirrels make hollows and sometimes eat the fruits from their host tree. Squirrels around here eat acorns from oaks.  Birds nest and raise their young in branches out of the way of humans and predators.Their nests often have leaves and twigs from the host tree.  Woodpeckers make hollows in trees 16-18 inches deep for their nests.

Bird's nest

Bird’s Nest

Insects eat bark and leaves on trees.  They also put their egg sacs on branches, leaves, and twigs. Bees build their hive on and in the sides of trees. Wasps leave galls which are plant deformed plant tissue which act as nurseries, on leaves. Some predators leave their catch in trees which is a perfect feast for an ant colony.

Bee Tree

Bee Tree

Galls on a small oak tree

Galls on a Small Oak Tree

Lichen is supported by trees, especially dead trees. The first is foliose, sea green and will grow on things like tree branches. The other one is shrubby looking and it has orange platforms on it. Please see The Lichen Report for more information.

Foliose Lichen

Foliose Lichen

Bibliography

Reece, Jane B., et al., Campbell Biology (ninth edition), Benjamin Cummings an imprint of Pearson,2011.

http://www.treetrees.com/alder_bracket.htm for information Alder Bracket.

http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/galls-oak

Alsop, Fred. J, III, et al., Birds of Texas, DK Publishing Inc. 2002

 

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2 thoughts on “The Tree Report

  1. I really like your explanations of living things making homes in, on, and around living and dead trees. Do you think it is a good thing to clean all the dead wood out of a forest to make it look more beautiful?

    Love, Oma

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