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Saving the Trees!

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

Tuesday 13 July

Gratitude- food we eat, family who love us, trees which give so much to the world

Purpose- help conserve nature ourselves.

Attitude- positive mission to achieve this.

Talked about how trees communicate with each other and how the mother tree in the wood governs and nurtures other trees.

How trees can communicate to other trees and insects to help them when in distress.

We talked about ivy and how it can smoother a tree by climbing up it and it’s leaves growing over other main trees leaves and stopping it photosynthesise. This is how it may weaken the tree. Also, It’s weight may eventually bring the tree down.

However, Ivy grows its own roots to get water and it can grow as thick as your arm!

We identified English ivy (Hedera) and saw it was smothering the tree. So we cleared it by pulling and cutting its stem

We noticed a lot of creatures underneath, from slugs, centipedes, wood lice. So this was a habitat for many mini beasts.

We heard birds, rustling in the undergrowth, which suggests other creatures reside there too.

So we thought we need to weigh up the pro and cons of removing some ivy from trees.

We severed some thick stems and we left alot of ground ivy for animal habitats and to prevent weeds.

Next, we trekked to the woods and identified beautiful common woodland orchids, which had about 40 tiny flowers on the stem, speckled with purple dots. It is the same order or group as asparagus.

We also found mini wild strawberries on sunlit parts of the woodland floor. They had a sweet and sour taste. The fruit grow from their small white flowers.

Wild common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza) and strawberries (fragaria).

We compared the size of orchids and strawberries that had been cultivated (grown) by people, to the wild ones. The cultivated ones were much bigger.

We asked:

What is cultivation?

Why are cultivated plants bigger?

Plants are provided with the right growing conditions in order for them to thrive. They need fertile well drained soil with the right pH (we will be testing this in the coming weeks at Chilton Magic Garden).

Many strawberry varieties have been chosen depending on their large size and sweet taste. Also, on how hardy and resistance they are to disease. The plants are then cross-pollinated to produce the ideal hybrid strawberry plant (a new plant grown from 2 different varieties of plant).

Cultivated orchids

Cultivated strawberries

Back at the arboretum we reveiwed our day:

Gratitude – We worked together nicely to save about 12 trees from ivy. We were happy that it was good weather to trek up to the woods to find the orchids and wild strawberries.

Attitude – We were hard working and we were interested to learn about benefits of plants and why they are cultivated.

Purpose – We saved some trees and their habitats.

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