Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr

Observe Tree Buds

Learn all about trees by watching their buds grow.

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Approximate Cost: $0, Under $10
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Physical Challenge:
  • Camera
  • Notebook
  • Ribbon
  • Tree with buds
Find a tree.
Find a tree with fat buds on the ends of its branches. Flowering trees like the dogwood are nice, but any tree or bush will do.
Pick a bud.
Tie a piece of ribbon around the twig so you can tell your bud from all the others on the tree.
Take a picture.
Take a photo of your bud and note the date you took it.
Watch it grow.
Go back to check up on your bud every month or so to see how it's doing. Take a photo of it each time, and make notes about any changes you see. (If a squirrel or other animal eats your bud, pick another just like it and keep on going.)
Record its progress.
Your bud may turn into a flower, like the dogwood. Or it may become leaves. Either way, keep recording the action all the way till the end of fall.
Keep watching.
If your bud was a flower, you'll see fruit or nuts starting to form after the flower fades. If it was a leaf bud, keep watching as the leaves grow, change color, and then drop off.
Make a notebook.
Put all your photos and notes into a notebook. Give it a title like, "A Year in the Life of My Good Bud."
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