ANCIENT giants, gnarled* stumps and baby seedlings will all be celebrated this weekend for National Tree Day
More than 20,000 people are registered to take part in events across Australia on Sunday and more than 250,000 tree seedlings will be planted.
The initiative*, run by environmental organisation Planet Ark, encourages communities to connect with the natural world.
ABC Gardening Australia host and National Tree Day ambassador Costa Georgiadis said he loved Tree Day because it was a launch pad for discovery about nature.
“It’s not just about trees, it’s about health and wellbeing and individuality, of trees and of people,” he said.
“Trees are us because they make the air we breath and I like to see them as fellow travellers on the planet.”
Trees form a vital part in wildlife habitats and provide humans with materials to build with.
Mr Georgiadis spends his days in the dirt and has a deep appreciation for all things living.
“My favourite tree today is the Lemon-scented Gum, because it has the most beautiful smooth trunk and beautiful lemon-scented leaves,” he said.
“Trees are important for our wellbeing because they produce calm.”
He advised anyone interested in becoming more engaged with the environment to head to an event on Sunday and meet people.
“There are lots of simple ways to get involved and my approach is just get out there and make a start,” he said.
”You’ll be amazed.”
One of the many events for the national day this year is the official opening of the Kororoit Creek Trail in Melbourne’s west.
Locals will gather to celebrate the unveiling of a $2.5 million path and artwork trail, 17 years in the making.
More than 2000 trees will be planted as part of the proceedings.
For more information visit the Tree Day website: http://treeday.planetark.org/
NOTEWORTHY VICTORIAN TREES
• Mountain Ash are the tallest flowering trees in the world and they can be found in East Gippsland and the Yarra Ranges National Park.
• The oldest trees can live for up to 3000 years. One of Victoria’s oldest trees stands at Maits Rest in the Great Otway National Park.
• Some trees are equipped to deal with the freezing conditions of Victoria’s highest snowy peaks. Snow Gums are blasted with ice in the winter, contorting* them into weird and wonderful shapes.
gnarled: knobbly, rough and twisted
contorting: twisting and bending out of shape
LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY
Activity 1. What is National Tree Day?
Read the article to find out about this event.
Write a description for National Tree Day, including details of when it’s on, what it involves and the purpose behind it.
Use the website listed in the article to find an event close to you.
Write the details of this event in the form of an invitation.
Include the date, address, what to bring/wear, what is involved and how to RSVP.
Extension: Your Favourite Tree
Mr Georgiadis’ favourite tree is the Lemon-scented Gum because it has the most beautiful smooth trunk and beautiful lemon-scented leaves.
Do you have a favourite tree?
Either use your favourite tree or simply choose a tree that you would like to find out more about and answer the following things about it.
• Native to:
• Commonly found:
• Reproduction (seed pod, flowers, fruit etc):
• Other information:
What do you like about it?
Time: allow about 40 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Science
Activity 2. Trees produce calm
If possible, find a place where you can sit beneath a large tree. If you can’t sit under a big tree, imagine it.
Take a moment to gaze up.
Take note of the branches, leaves, shapes, colour and sizes.
What else can you see?
How does sitting there make you feel?
Now, close your eyes and listen to the tree.
Can you hear the wind rustling through it?
Can you hear any animals that have made the tree their home?
What else do you hear?
Take these thoughts and feelings and use them as inspiration to write a poem about trees.
You can choose the style of poetry to write.
Extension: A park with no trees!
Think of a place that you know that has lots of trees.
Draw what this place looks like.
Now imagine that same place without trees.
Draw it now.
Which version do you prefer?
Time: allow 60 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, The Arts – Visual Arts
(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers, Punctuation)
Growing a sentence
Write and developing a sentence is very much like a growing a tree.
You start off with an opener (a seedling) and from that we can help it grow with water (vocabulary), sunlight (connectives) and healthy soil (punctuation).
That is what we are going to do today.
Grow a sentence.
Step 1. Use an opener to begin your sentence.
Step 2: Begin adding words to it to develop your sentence. Don’t forget to add a WOW word.
Step 3: Choose a connective to link two ideas together.
Step 4: Add some high-level punctuation (Double check it’s all correct)
Continue to write some more sentences and challenge yourself to use a variety of VCOP to make your sentences more interesting.
Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Big Write, VCOP