We've got a Christmas special episode of Let's Dive In for you with some duper cool facts about Christmas trees with thanks to Julie and Phil.
Here Julie, tells us more about these trees and gives you some experiments to try...
Have you got a Christmas tree in your house? If it’s a real one, it’s likely that it’s a Norway Spruce tree. Do you know how old it is?
One way to tell how old a tree is, is to cut through the trunk of the tree and count the rings: each ring represents how much a tree has grown in one year.
I don’t recommend you turn your Christmas trees upside down to check, but most house-sized Christmas trees will be somewhere between seven to nine years old.
Do you know how old the oldest Norway Spruce tree is? I went to meet Nick Rose, an arboriculturist, and he told me all about them.
Christmas trees are a type of conifer tree, which means that it has needle-shaped leaves. This means that it is specially adapted to survive in snowy climates.
With broadleaf (or deciduous) trees, like oaks or maples, the leaves are like spoons: when it snows, they would collect the snow and stop the leaf from doing its job: collecting sunlight and using it to help the tree to grow.
By having needle-shaped leaves, any snow that might land on a branch would fall between the needles. Or if snow did manage to stay on the branches, the needles would just poke through.
Phil’s analogy in this episode is that the Christmas tree leaves are like forks, and the deciduous trees have leaves like spoons.
And we’ve got a super duper little experiment that you could try at home to test this out.
What you’ll need:
- A branch from a broadleaf tree with leaves on it
- A branch from a conifer tree with needles on it
What you need to do:
- Cut your paper into little pieces to make pretend snowflakes
- Divide your snowflakes into two equal piles
- Hold the broadleaf branch and gently pour the snowflakes over it
- Measure how many snowflakes manage to stick to the leaves/branch
- Repeat this for the conifer/Christmas tree branch.
Why not tune in to this Christmas special episode of Let’s Dive In to find out how old the oldest Christmas tree in the world is, and what should happen in our Snowflake experiment?
And if you’ve got a science question over the holiday period, why not record it and send it in to us? We’d love to hear all about your curiosities.
We wish you all a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year! Phil and I will be back in 2021 with more episodes of Let’s Dive In!