Do you have favorite tree?

A favorite tree is like a good friend. Is there a tree outside your bedroom window that you share secrets with? Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a wise old olive tree to read under? Or perhaps your favorite is a gnarled climbing tree at your neighborhood park?

November 2023 nature art challenge!

For this month’s art challenge, draw, paint, or photograph your favorite tree.

If you don’t have a favorite, that’s okay! Choose a tree in your backyard, a street tree, a tree at school, or one at your local park. You could also choose a tree from a book or a magazine, or imagine a tree in magical land somewhere.

What kind of artwork you create is up to you. Here are some ideas:

  • do a quick pencil sketch
  • create a detailed diagram with labels
  • paint with watercolors or acrylics
  • finger paint with mud, clay, or other natural materials
  • photograph your tree (you can use an app to edit or draw on the photograph)
  • sculpt a tree out of clay

Get to know your tree a little better

Notice the texture of the bark and the color of the leaves. Does your tree have flowers? Are there climbing plants creeping up its trunk? Is there an epiphyte nestled in the upper branches? (An epiphyte is a plant that grows on the surface of a tree, like an orchid, fern, or moss.) Are there creatures living in the canopy of your tree or in burrows underneath it? Do birds visit your tree?

Here is an example: cabbage tree sketch in colored pencil on paper

sketch of a cabbage tree

The cabbage tree is endemic to New Zealand but the one in this drawing is living in a garden in Australia. Each day, many species of birds stop for a perch on one of its branches, including sulfur-crested cockatoos, noisy miner birds, Australian magpies, galahs, and more.

Brushtail possums also frequent this tree, snoozing by day in the clusters of leaves and climbing down the trunk at night to go on the hunt for food. This cabbage tree has bark that is rough and textured. The leaves are sharp and sword-like – they litter the ground when they die, creating homes for insects.

Want to find out what kind of tree your favorite is?

We recommend the Seek app by iNaturalist. Or check out the field guides in your local library.

Create and share!

We’d love to see what you’ve created. To share your art with us, parents or guardians can email us using the contact information on our About Us page.

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