Friday, January 13, 2012

Adopt a Twig for Winter

Trees may look dead during the winter – but they’re not. The leaves may be gone, but there are plenty of buds on the twigs. And each of those weatherproof buds holds next season’s growth.

Take a look for yourself. Find a tree with fat buds on the ends of its branches. Now carefully peel open one of the buds. Inside you’ll see tiny leaves and stems twisted and folded up, waiting to grow once the weather grows warmer.

Adopt a twig and watch the amazing changes that happen as spring returns. Tie a ribbon around your twig so you can find it again. Then take a photo – or draw a sketch – of your bud.

Check back in a month and see how it’s faring. Take another photo, sketch another bud portrait and make sure to write down any changes you see. Does it get bigger? What happens in the spring? Does it turn into a leaf or a flower? Follow it through the fall.


  1. I love the "adopt a twig". Our Primitive Pursuits Thursday Home School group this spring adopted "buddy" who was started out as a dormant bud on an old red oak tree. Once a week at the beginning of program 30 kids would rush over to see "buddy". He of course eventually (though very slowly) turned into a beautiful leaf. It was so powerful to see the kids enthusiasm and relationship with a single bud and its life cycle.

  2. I love it that you named him "Buddy" - your students got an awesome opportunity to watch this natural process. My twig is named "Aunt Beech".

  3. This is great. My kids have done this with apple trees and sketched and taken pictures of them through the whole year. The funny thing is that throughout the seasons, you can also see the chicks under the trees turning into chickens.
    We enjoy your posts a lot.