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Oklahoma’s Arbor Day – 2018

Leaf Critters, Buddy

               Buddy Redbud

As you now know, each state has its own Arbor Day. And Oklahoma is next in line! Oklahoma uses an entire week to celebrate its arbor day. The celebration goes on during the last full week of March each year. This year the dates are March 25-31.

I’m Buddy Redbud and I’m here to tell you about Oklahoma’s state tree – which is my home tree, the Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis). Its leaves are heart-shaped, and can emerge either red or green-colored depending on the variety of the tree. On either tree the blossoms that burst all over the branches are a pink-lavender color (as seen below).

Be sure to look for my home tree while you are out and about this week! (It appears in hardiness zones 4-9 — Click here to see the map.)

Happy Arbor Day week, Oklahoma!

Red-leafed Redbud

Green-leafed Redbud

Today is North Carolina’s Arbor Day 2018

Leaf Critters, Pinen

Pinen Pine

Did you know that each state has it’s own Arbor Day? Well it’s a fact! And today is the first Friday after March 15th, which is North Carolina’s defined state arbor day.

Our state tree is the pine (no specific pine) but the Genus Pinus (1963). It has great bark and the leaves are needle-like and hang in clusters of 2-5 depending on the specific variety.

Be sure to look for this tree while you are out and about today.

Happy NC Arbor Day!


Leaf Critters, pine tree needles

A cluster of pine tree needles.

Leaf Critters, pine tree bark

Pine tree bark

Out with the Old | In with the New!

               Maggie Magnolia

Hi – Maggie Magnolia here, with breaking news that the magnolia tree is shedding some of its leaves!

How can this BE???
We know that my home tree is an evergreen!

Well, check it out, each year some of the magnolia’s leaves turn a beautiful bright yellow as they die off and leave the tree. This happens at the very same time that new growth leaves are emerging.

So, it’s out with the old and in with the new – Take a look at the photo below to see it happening. – The new growth leaves are those at the very top of the picture and the yellow ones are the older leaves that are going to fall off soon.

To answer the question, How can this BE?? (That is, the shedding of leaves from an evergreen tree) – the answer lies in the fact that it is the tree that remains green throughout the year – not the individual leaves.

Now, go see if you can find this tree in your neighborhood or school yard!

Spring is Here!

Shuggie Maple Leaf Critters character

Shuggie Maple

Hi – Shuggie Maple here, reporting that Spring has sprung in the Southeast!  And the Sugar Maple trees are dropping their fruit – those fantastic flying wings – everywhere!

Take a look! Then check out the new spring leaves from my home tree!

The winged fruit of a sugar maple tree

Springtime sugar maple leaves

The Tulip Poplar Leaf | What Does a Tulip Poplar Leaf Look Like?

Here is what the Tulip Poplar leaf looks like.

The tulip poplar tree is known by quite a few common names. Some of which are:

  • Tuliptree
  • Tulip Magnolia
  • Yellow Poplar and
  • Whitewood

Each refers to the same tree. The tulip poplar is not a poplar, but a member of the magnolia family. The leaves resemble the shape of the outline of a tulip flower. They turn yellow in the fall.

Help your students See the Trees™ with the Leaf Critters®.
Click here for a printable  Order Form for Current Collections

Or check out the brochure here.

The Redbud Leaf | What Does a Redbud Leaf Look Like?

Here is what the Redbud leaf looks like.

There are many varieties of the redbud tree in North America. Some have green leaves in the spring and some have red leaves from spring-to-fall. The Ruby falls weeping redbud has leaves emerge maroon-red color turning into a deeper shade of violet as summer progresses. The redbud tree flowers before the leaves emerge.

Help your students See the Trees™ with the Leaf Critters®.
Click here for a printable Order Form for Current Collections

Or check out the brochure here.

The Oak Leaf | What Does an Oak Leaf Look Like?

Here is what the Red Oak leaf looks like.

There are dozens of oak tree varieties in North America. The varieties are divided into two main categories: red oaks and white oaks but I’ll throw in a two additional categories as well! Here’s a quick list along with some of their common traits:

  1. Red Oaks – have many lobes and jagged edges
  2. White Oaks – have many lobes that are curvy
  3. Willow Oak – has slender, oval shape
  4. Evergreen Oaks – have a plain oval-shaped, smooth shape

With all those differently shaped leaves, you might wonder what these trees share in common? — Acorns! They each bear acorns as their fruit. The first two oaks on this list burst into different colors in the fall – from copper, to yellow, to bright red, and brown depending on the species as well as the weather. The willow oak’s leaves turn brown. The fourth category of oak stays green all year long.

Help your students See the Trees™ with the Leaf Critters®.
Click here for a printable Order Form for Current Collections

Or check out the brochure here.

National Arbor Day, Trees, & Leaf Critters

Oakster arms out 300x300pngThe official National Arbor Day for this year was April 29, 2016. That was on a Friday! Do you know that we have a US national tree?

Q:  Do you know what the national tree is?

A: The oak. (That’s me!)

So many of the trees in your area are changing color with their leaves. See if you can take a picture of some changing leaves and post them here – then we’ll try to figure out what tree type they’re growing on.


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