Changes in Trees

Tree Phenology

Phenology is the study of changes in the seasonal cycles of living things. Trees are a great place to start observing seasonal changes. Every year they go through the same cycles, and by tracking how early or late each event is, you can discover the ways the climate effects them.

In this activity we will be observing and making notes about change events (called 'phenophases') in the trees we find. You can revist the same tree throughout the year to track its phenophases.

Find a tree and tap the icon of the type of tree you want observe below.


Evergreen trees may not drop their leaves in Autumn, but they still go through distinct phenophases that we can observe. Evergreens can be needle leafed with cones or broadleafed with flowers/fruits. Their phenophases can look very different. Can you find a evergreen tree?




Deciduous trees drop their foliage (leaves) in Autumn and grow new leaves in Spring. But careful observers can spot even more phenophases. Below you can track the phenophases of Oaks and Maples, but nearly all deciduous trees go through similar phases (though they might look a little different). Can you find a deciduous tree?



When you finish your hike, tap the button below to TRACK your adventure!