Skeletons of Trees

Week of November 14 – November 20, 2021

Melissa Kirby Staff member and Environmental Educator

by Melissa Kirby, Environmental Educator

While hiking the preserve recently on a glorious sunny day I gazed up at the leafless skeleton of a sumac tree. The contrast between the tree and vibrant blue sky was mesmerizing enough that I stood there for a minute or so. I observed the shaded areas around the branches, trunk, and the red berries that looked so dark from this perspective. The tree looked both eerie and beautiful at the same time.

Trees have specific shapes, branching patterns, buds, and sometimes remaining fruit which can all be seen on a tree with no leaves. Appealing to the eye on a blue skies day, these skeletons can help us bring awareness to the defining shapes that characterize certain trees. On your next hike consider drawing your attention towards the leafless deciduous trees and practice looking at these different skeletons for shapes that catch your eye.