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at Home!

Tale as Old as Pine

How old is this Ponderosa?


Last week, I took Pickle for a walk in the woods and she helped me explore some Ponderosa pines along the way! This time, we were looking to make some estimates about how old the pines are.


Here are some ways you can make some guesses:

  • Young trees

    • Grey, rough textured bark.

    • Small trunk.

    • If young/small enough, you can count the whorls of branches for each year of the tree’s growth.

  • Getting older

    • When pines turn 80, their bark turns orange!

    • Can still be a small-ish trunk, or starting to get bigger.

  • Super old

    • The older a tree gets, the smoother the orange bark becomes.

    • Smells sweet like vanilla, or butterscotch.

    • Bigger and bigger trunk

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Activity Ideas

Choose the activity (or activities) that resonate with you - ignore the rest!

  • Throw a birthday party for a tree! (Or a flower, or a bumblebee, or a whatever you want!) Take pictures and send them in omg pleeeeeaasse that would be so amazing.

  • Map the trees in your neighborhood, or make an inventory list

    • How many can you identify?

    • How can you find out what they are if you don’t know?

    • How old do you think each of the trees you encounter is? What kind of clues might they give you to help you guess?

  • Find a really old tree in your neighborhood (or imagine one!). Write a story of the neighborhood through the perspective of the tree. For example, if you think a tree might be 200 years old, what kinds of changes do you think the area has gone through? You can start by writing out a bullet list  or a timeline of changes you can imagine, and then writing it out as a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

  • Find out if there more ways to tell how old a Ponderosa is (and let me know!)

  • Research what kinds of trees grow well in your area. Find out if there are ways to estimate how old they are.


And please send us any photos, ideas, research, and stories you come up with!

We will post any that we get here on the page for inspiration for others.

Send in photos of your masterpieces to

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Coming up!

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The Barbed Wire Ball!

Family FUNdraiser September 28-29th

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