A Holiday Science Lesson: The Christmas Tree

When spending time with your family and friends this holiday season, don’t let a learning opportunity slip through your fingers. A beautiful teaching tool can be the centerpiece of the holiday season. This of course is your Christmas tree. This life science experience will be fun and informative for the whole family.

Start with this question: Why are they called “evergreens?”  The difference between a coniferous tree and a deciduous tree is an excellent research topic for your young students. Use this topic to explore the variety of evergreen trees used as Christmas trees. Think of how impressive it will be when they can identify the variety of tree they have at home.

Now that we can identify our Christmas tree, let’s keep it looking its best throughout the holiday season. Start with the basics of plant life by understanding what plants need to live. All plants need certain elements to sustain life: water, air, light, nutrients, and something for support. The tree stand provides the support, air is all around us, and light should be indirect. The two areas to concentrate on will be water and nutrients. Its research time again in regards to how much water and nutrients to supply your
Christmas tree, as well as the technique involved. Should the tree trunk be re-cut prior to placing it in the tree stand? If it is not re-cut, how can you help the tree get its uptake of water? Is it necessary for nutrients to be placed in the water?

And finally, play a game! Title your game “Christmas Tree Trivia.” Visit the National Christmas Tree Association website and print the Quick Tree Facts. Develop questions to ask relevant to the tree facts provided. Think of a simple award for the person in your family who has the greatest knowledge about your Christmas tree.


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