Leaf Collection Project
adapted from a project by Cheryl Massengale
Assignment: You are to create a leaf collection booklet containing leaves from SIX different species of trees. Your collection must contain at least 5 leaves from broadleaf trees. You may choose your remaining leaf from broadleaf, needle-leaf or scale-leaf trees. You may use only ONE maple leaf. Only trees on the 2013 List of Trees may be used. This year, you must paste two leaves from each species on a page. One leaf will show the top of the leaf; the other will show the bottom of the leaf.
leaf press (directions follow)
sturdy paper for mounting
black ink pen
taxonomic keys/field guides
Directions for making a leaf press
1. Cut 1 square of cardboard roughly 15 inches by 15 inches in size.
2. Place the cardboard on a hard surface out of the way of young children and pets. Place five (5) pieces of paper towels or 5 pieces of newspaper on top of the cardboard.
3. Arrange a few of your leaves on the paper towels/newspaper.
4. Cover with 5 additional pieces of paper towels/newspaper.
5. Repeat with an additional layer of leaves and another layer of paper towels/newspaper.
6. Finish with another 15" by 15" cardboard square.
7. Place several heavy books on top of your press.
8. Change the paper towels/newspaper every 2 or 3 days.
9. Depending on the size of your leaves, you may have to construct an additional leaf press.
Collecting and Pressing Your Leaves
1. Always get permission before collecting leaves on someone else's property.
2. Collect at least three of each type of leaf in case one of the leaves tears. If leaves are damaged or torn, don't use them because you will not receive full credit.
3. Be sure to remove an entire leaf, not a leaflet, from the tree and place it in your press as soon as possible.
4. Leaves should remain in the press for 3 - 5 days depending on their thickness and moisture content. Remember to change the newspaper or paper towels when needed.
5. Keep the press in an area where little children or pets can get at it.
Labeling Your Leaves
1. Make labels that are 3" by 5". You may use index cards or white paper for your labels.
2. You may either type or handprint your information. Do not cross out or white out mistakes on the labels; rewrite them. Labels must be neat and easy to read. Use only black ink whether you are typing or writing your labels.
3. Each label must contain the following information:
a. Common name of leaf
b. Scientific name of leaf: Genus (capitalized) and species (lowercase); name is italicized or underlined
c. Tree type: broadleaf, needle leaf, scale leaf
d. If your specimen is from a broadleaf tree, then the following information is also required:
1. Leaf type: simple or compound
2. Leaf margin: entire, toothed or lobed
3. Vein pattern: parallel, palmate or pinnate
Mounting Your Leaves
1. Use pieces of sturdy paper to mount your leaves.
2. Each page must have only one type of leaf on it.
3. Arrange the leaves so there is room to glue the label at the bottom of the page. The leaves should look nice on the page. Use tape to mount needle- or scale-leaves to the paper.
4. Use a small amount of glue to adhere the completed label. Center the label below the leaf.
5. LET THE PAGES DRY COMPLETELY BEFORE ASSEMBLING THEM TOGETHER IN YOUR COLLECTION OR THE PAGES WILL STICK TOGETHER!!
6. Make a front cover for your collection. Include the following items on your cover:
b. your name
c. an appropriate illustration (no glitter, please!)
7. Use ribbon, string, etc. to bind the pages together.
On-line Leaf Identification Guides
This older site from Virginia Tech is very useful in identifying leaves
Virginia Tech - Use this site to find the common name of your tree
Auburn University has an interactive leaf identification tool that may help you
The Texas Forest Service may be helpful in identifying your leaves
The Herbarium at the University of Wisconsin may help you identify your leaves
Arbor Day Foundation provides a key to determine common names
About.com also has a key to help determine common names
Alabama Cooperative Extension has a page of pictures that may help you identify your leaf
Once you know the common name of your leaf, use the Ohio Public Library Information Network to find its scientific name
Due date: October 10, 2013
Project Value: 200 points
Tree List for 2013 Leaf Project
Pick a maximum of one of the following:
Eastern red cedar
Eastern white pine
Northern white cedar
Pick 5 or 6 of the following:
Tulip tree (Yellow-poplar)
American basswood (American linden)
*Only one maple may be used