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Ranger Rick
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Under 7, 7 to 12
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Find Unusual Trees In Your Area
See how many weird-looking trees are waiting for you in your backyard, neighborhood, or nearby woods.
  • Camera (optional)
  • Notebook or sketchpad
  • Pencil
Step 1
Look for Sapsucker "Cafes"

Woodpeckers called sapsuckers drill neat rows of little holes in trees, then slurp up the sap. (See the illustration, above.) Chances are the tree will be an old sapsucker café—where the bird's holes have dried up and healed over. But if you're lucky, you may find a fresh one—where the sapsucker holes are still oozing sap. You may get lucky and see not just sapsuckers, but hummingbirds, insects, and squirrels stopping by to dine.

Step 2
Look for Other Weird Trees

Here are some other trees to look for:

  • Trees in strange shapes
  • Trees twisted by vines
  • Trees lumpy with burls
  • Trees growing in unusual places
Step 3
Make a Tree Log

In your notebook or sketchpad, draw your trees—or snap their photos and save room for them in your log. Jot down notes about how your trees are different-looking and how they might have gotten that way.

Step 4
Make Friends

Name your favorite trees. Visit them now and, in a few months, to see if they change from one season to the next.

Step 5
Take a Tree Tour

Draw a sightseeing map with all your special trees on it. Take your family and friends on an expedition to see them.

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