||1. How would a disease or insect that damages the tree leaves impact its growth?
Insects can negatively impact a tree’s growth by accelerating the process of decay. This is because they feed on natural fibers, suck on plant juices, and destroy the wooden building materials. Symptoms of a plant disease usually have a visible impact on the tree such as a change in color. They also impact the process of photosynthesis, growth and development, and cell division.
2. How does poor root growth impact the tree?
Poor root growth would result in poor transport of water through the tree. Roots are also a store-house for essential food reserves needed by the tree to produce spring foliage. Additionally, roots help anchor the tree and the tree may not be stable if the root growth is poor.
3. How can one quantify the aesthetic value of a tree?
A tree with high aesthetic value may be very tall and healthy-looking, with a lot of leaves, flowers, and/or foliage. It would not have any cankers or messed up branches or trunk.
4. If you were asked to decide if the school/city should plant more trees, what information would be helpful in making these decisions?
Existing quantity of trees, size of potential trees, cost associated with planting and maintaining more trees, and air quality would all be helpful information in deciding whether or not to plant more trees.
5. What would the impact be on tree benefits if trees are sick or unhealthy?
Some benefits trees provide are oxygen, fruits, shelter for animals and insects. Sick or unhealthy trees can cause a change in the climate because less sunlight would be absorbed. This would negatively affect the area where animals and insects live. Also, the amount of oxygen trees provide could change.
||How does moisture content affect the health of palm trees (insert species here)?
- measure amount of nutrients/water in soil
- sand based soil/compact soil/etc.
- measure health of tree (discolored leaves, deformities, cankers, etc.)
||The variables we are working with are palm tree leave discoloration and palm tree soil moisture. It is possible for palm trees that have yellowed leaves to lack important nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Leaves that contain spots can be affected by pests or fungi and this can also cause leaves to turn yellow. Trees planted in sandy soil require more soil moisture to grow healthily. However, too much moisture in the soil caused by too much water can cause the root to rot or diseases.
||1. Locate 10 palm trees (insert species)
2. Estimate the amount of discolored leaves and record the percent (0-10%, 10-20%, 20-30%, 40-50%, 50-60%, 60-70%, 70-80%, 80-90%, 90%-100%)
3. Record the presence of any cankers or warped trunks.
4. Measure 6 inches from the base of the tree with a ruler and collect ½ cup of soil using a measuring cup.
5. On the opposite side of the tree, measure 6 inches from the base and collect ½ cup of soil using a measuring cup.
6. Place soil samples in clearly labeled containers.
7. Immediately weigh the soil samples on an electric balance, recording the mass of each in grams.
8. Place soil samples in a warm place and let them dry completely.
9. Weigh soil samples on an electric balance, recording the mass of each in grams. Clearly label the recorded masses with “pre-drying” and “post-drying”.
10. Repeat with 10 trees.
||High School Students (Grades 9,10,11,12)
||California Academy of Mathematics and Science