Kids Page Learning rainforest species

Go on a tree hunt in your yard or around your neighbourhood to look for and learn to recognise the following tree species.

I grow on the edge of the forest or in disturbed areas inside the forest. I grow tall quickly and provide shade for smaller trees. I provide a nice environment for tree that do not like too much light to grow. I have heart shaped leaves that change colour from green to orange to red before they drop. My seeds are small and start out being green turning to a deep purple. Many birds love to eat my seeds. The Brown cuckoo-dove - Macropygia amboinensis is often seen in large numbers on me when I am in seed. I am Omalanthus populifolius - Bleeding heart.

My glossy leathery leaves have very sharp points and hardly visible parallel veins (running along) my leaf. They change from being soft greyish/green when new, to very glossy green as they grow. I have leaves all along my branches and even along my trunk. I have large nuts that fall, so watch out if you are standing below me. I am often found in forestry plantings. I am Agathis robusta - QLD Kauri Pine.

Stay tuned to learn more. Or head off with a note book, take notes and observe! Look at the following characteristics of trees around you.

  • the tree shape
  • the leaf shape
  • the number of leaves along the branch, are they alternate along the branch or opposite?
  • the bark, is it rough or smooth?
  • the seed features (if present), big, small, hard, fleshy?
  • height of the tree?
  • (If you know your own height you can guess how many of you might fit into the tree. Multiple the number of you in the tree by your height to get a guesstimate of tree height.)

Once you have observed and noted all of these features you can look in field guides to see if you can identify the tree.



Batty book review

Stellaluna

Janell Cannon. Koala Books, Mascott, N.S.W.

This is the story of a bat that thought it was a bird! How absurd! It learnt to hang upside down or right way up depending on your species. It begins somewhat sadly but ends fabulously, with all being put right. The illustrations are light, realistic and beautiful, with a section in the back about bats and their role in reafforestation.

An enjoyable read. Target age: 3 -12.

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