NATURE QUEST ACTIVITY
Trees, leaves and seeds
There’s more to wildlife than fur and feathers. Here’s your chance to ‘branch’ out.
The trees of Zimbabwe are as important as the wild animals – the mighty Baobab is as strong as an elephant, living for up to 3,000 years. The Musasa tree is well known for its lush green leaves providing cool shade and shelter from the blazing sun.
Looking at a tree’s leaves and seeds is a great way to help identify the different types that you might find around you.
Did you know there are over 1,200 woody plant species that are indigenous to Zimbabwe?
- Tree ID guide
- Take a bag to collect the best bits of your forage
STEP BY STEP GUIDE
1. Find some trees! Look out for ones that produce lots of seeds and fruit.
2. If there are lots of dry fallen leaves, pile them up, take a run up and kick your way through them. Watch them fly into the air and descend in a fluttering cloud.
3. Now to the serious business of gathering seeds and leaves. Can you match the leaf or seed to the tree? Use our guide to help
Meet a Tree
This is a fun and interesting way to explore trees with a partner. One of you is the leader and the other is blindfolded using a scarf or something similar.
The leader should take their partner slowly on a journey ending up at a tree you have chosen, avoiding obstacles and holes. Before you reach it tell your friend to stretch out their arms, taking tiny steps forwards until they reach the tree (you may need to help guide their hands).
Ask your friend to feel the texture of the bark, smell it, and try to hug the tree. Lead your friend back to your starting point, gently turn them around a few times to confuse them and then ask them to take the blindfold off. Can they find the tree you took them to? Get them to check – does it feel and smell the same? Now swap!
Sites where you could do this activity:
You can do this anywhere in the country.
Trees, leaves and seeds have many uses apart from firewood. Find out how the trees that you’ve spotted are traditionally used. What is the timber used for? Do parts of the tree have medicinal properties? Can you eat the fruit? What animals, insects or birds live in it?