4-Hers Learn About Forestry

Danielle and Abby Larson of Tilden did a wonderful job teaching 4-H youth about the importance of having trees and being able to identify trees by their leaves.
Danielle and Abby put on a workshop about identifying leaves on June 22 in Neligh. You may think that identifying trees by their leaves would be easy, but in fact there are so many parts to one single leaf.
Alex Martinez, Hannah Olnes, Allison Stineman, and Alex Robinson learned that different kinds of trees have very unique leaves from each other based on their edges, patterns of the veins, and the arrangement.
Once the youth learned the different parts of a leaf, it was exploring time! The children walked around the courthouse and gathered leaves to test their knowledge on how to identify the tree just by looking at the tree’s leaves.
On their expedition the children learned what a gall was on a leaf. A gall is a strange growth on a leaf, flower, stem, or root that forms because some sort of insect or mite feeds on the plant and the plant then develops tissue around the bite as a defense mechanism.
The children even explored further and open a gall and found a tiny little insect inside of the gall. The 4-H youth was able to identify leaves by using their knowledge from the lesson and then using a dicot leaf key to identify the right species of the same family of trees.
Danielle and Abby first had the 4-H youth learn how to use a dicot key by using cute, little paper people and then using the dicot key to find out what the paper people’s names were. A dicot key is a device that is used to identify an unknown organism that consists of a series of two part statements that describe characteristic of the organisms.
The 4-Hers enjoyed learning about nature and left the workshop very excited to start their forestry project on displaying leaves.