Exploring Trees

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Exploring and Observing Trees

Trees Exploration Icon ImageWhen one thinks of the Pacific Northwest, trees are often the first thing that comes to mind. This makes perfect sense to us! Jefferson County is home to some of the most iconic evergreen trees in the world, including Douglas fir, spruce, western red cedar, and many others.

In the Exploring Trees virtual nature walk, Jefferson Land Trust’s Director of Stewardship Erik Kingfisher tours us around the area by way of its mighty giants and touches on a few of its smaller, deciduous (leaf bearing) trees that together create the unique ecosystem of our temperate rainforest.

After watching the virtual nature walk, find a set of resources and activities on the page below.


Trees Virtual Nature Walk with Lead Naturalist Erik Kingfisher


Exploring Trees Resource Recommendations from Erik Kingfisher:



Exploring Trees Activities from Erik Kingfisher:

  • Identify these seven common trees in your neighborhood: Douglas fir, western red cedar, grand fir, western hemlock, red alder, big leaf maple, and Pacific madrone.
  • Write down three characteristic features of each tree (e.g., notched needles, deeply grooved bark, needles flat along the branch).
  • Write down one aspect of the ecology of each tree (e.g., its preferred habitat or soil, its tolerance to shade).
  • Choose a focal species tree to study more deeply. It can be one of the seven discussed in the virtual nature walk or another native tree that you have in your neighborhood and are curious about. After you have chosen a focal species to study, begin these activities:
    • Identify your species using the resource suggestions for trees listed above.
    • Sketch your tree and label it with common and scientific names (with correct use of capital letters!), size, and main identifying features. These Sketching Tips and Resources may be helpful.
    • Use the resource suggestions listed above to learn about your tree species and write down one thing about it that you find particularly interesting.
    • Rinse and repeat. Want more to do? Choose another tree and start again!