It seems that oak trees live everywhere in the States. However different types tend to prefer different climates. We were able to actually to observe oaks in two parts of the country, some in the Pacific Northwest and some in the Midwest.
We identified the Oak tree that we saw in Kansas as the Bur Oak We found this tree at a little park where we stopped for lunch one day. We hunted and hunted for acorns on the tree and on the ground. We found a couple of misshaped nuts. We concluded that the people in the neighborhood must have collected all of the acorns before we visited the park.
Unfortunately, due to the fact that my camera is broken, we weren’t able to get pictures of the trees that we checked out in the Pacific Northwest. My kids, along with some of their friends, collected leaves from these oaks as well as all the other bushes and trees in the immediate area and this is one of the last pictures that I got before my camera went crazy.
We had a hard time identifying the oak that we saw in Washington state, as it matched most closely with the California Black Oak, it seems to me. However, the furthest north that the California Black Oak grows is southern Oregon. The only oak that we could find that is supposed to grow in Western Washington is the Oregon White Oak, but our leaves and acorns did not match this oak. The lobes on the leaves of our trees came to a point and had a little barb on the end. Maybe these trees were planted and were not native to this area or maybe there is more variation to the White Oak than we saw in our field guide.
The kids both chose to illustrate the tree closer to home.
Zippy was the only one who did an illustration of the tree. Both chose to do illustrations of the leaves and acorns.
By JD Boy (age 6)
By Zippy (age 9)
I nearly forgot to say that we found a couple of excellent books on trees. The illustrations are just beautiful and the information and writing style is charming as well. They are The Big Tree and My Favorite Tree: Terrific Trees of North America (Sharing Nature With Children Book). I promise that if you have children the ages of my children, you will love both books and no matter what age you are, you’ll love the second book.