I never walked around campus and really appreciated the many different tree’s surrounding me each day. I always just noticed the basics; some tree’s are taller, some are shorter. Some tree’s have green leaves, some have burgundy. I once only noticed the difference between the tree’s with normal leaves and the tree’s with pine needles.You would think that all the tree’s with green leaves are the same when in fact, they sure are not.
As I started out my project, I honestly did not know where to start. I observed the tree’s just because that was my topic. Nothing really jumped out at me until one day, a leaf literally jumped out at me. I compared it to another tree’s leaf, and they were so different and unique! I found myself walking around campus collecting different leaves from different tree’s and noticing how unique each leaf was from another. All of them was a different shade of green and even red. I noticed that some leaves had smooth edges and some leaves had ridged edges. I felt that some leaves left sticky residue on my finger tips and some just had a smooth surface. Some leaves were lobed and some leaves were not. I took an even closer look and noticed that even the leaves that appear similar have different stem arrangements! (Different venation)
As I collected the leaves, I thought about how cool it would be to discover the specific tree species by the leave each one has. I went online to do some research and it wasn’t as easy as I had originally hoped. I soon discovered that the tree’s that live on Washtenaw Community College campus are American Elm, White Spruce, Sugar Maple, Red Maple, Japanese Maple, and other tree’s that unfortunately I couldn’t quite identify.