I created a packet that has color examples of the local flora. Pictures of tree rings. and diagrams of the layers of a forest. we covered everything in one hour and I felt that I remembered a lot of things about forestry that I was afraid that I had forgotten.
I am seriously thinking about making more packets and doing this more often. the boys were very attentive and the whole presentation went very well. I miss forestry on some levels.
tree rings summary
My notes included the following:
Cub Scouts are our future Leaders
Future Leaders need to develope reverance for the land and its resources
always remember to 'leave no trace'
standing in a park, remember that Urban forestry is just as real as the forest that are in our national forests.
a forest contains:
with these 5 critical items, there is an indicator of the health of the area that benefits humans as well as the environment.
(2) tree / shrub layer map - label (sitting at picnic tables)
Adventure - Treasure hunt:
(3) find and identify using the booklets, 6 trees,
talk about how trees benefit wildlife by offering shelter away from pedators and dead trees offer homes to endangered species like piliated wood peckers and spotted owls. how trees provide oxygen and shelter.
(4) find and identify using the booklets, 6 forest plants
how plants offer food to deer and elk and how even a forest fire can help replenish those grasses by releasing nitrogen back into the soil for the next growth of grasses. and how the shrubs and grasses offer shelter from predators to mice and squirrels.
talk about how evaporation at the edge of the forest limits growth, and how direct sunlight at the edge of the forest causes sunburns on leaves. how cypress live in the water and need 'toes' and 'knees' to breath when all the roots are under water.
Back to tables for Tree Rings
(6) life history in tree rings
identify the 'birth' year and the ring of the class average birth year on the tree ring (about 10 rings in from bark) locate and identify the heartwood, the sap wood, the pith and the phloem.
center a small core of pith formed when
the tree was a sapling. Then comes a cylinder of dark dense wood --
the heartwood -- with annual rings which are often very narrow near
the core because as a youngster it grew in the shade of older trees and
did not get enough light. Surrounding that is a collar of lighter-colored
wood -- the sapwood -- with a smaller number of rings. Beyond that
and just inside the rough outer bark is a spongy layer of inner bark
called the phloem.
(9)Finally we talked about the wildfires in California and how Native Americans would burn in the spring while the ground was still damp, the grasses and bushes, removing the step in the ladder, and thus reducing the fire hazard. without the bushes step, the fire can not get to the forest tree layer, and jump from crown to crown and thus kill the whole forest. how after a pine beetle infestation, a fire is a healthy way to treat the forest.