April 20, 2011
Before the leaves come out fully on a tree near your home, find out the tree's story by observing the twigs and buds. You can measure how much a tree grew during the year by looking for a ridge of lines around a twig. The distance from these growth rings (also known as bud scale scars) to the terminal bud (the last bud on the end of the twig) measures the yearly growth.
Look for flat markings on the twig that look like scars. These are the leaf scars left after the leaves fell off the tree. Look closely at the leaf scars. Sometimes they look like faces. Tiny dots along the bark of the twig are called lenticels; they allow air to enter the cells of the tree. Lateral buds are found along the sides of the twig and contain new leaves. The tiny leaves are tightly folded and wrapped inside protective scales of each bud, waiting for warmer weather before opening.
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Subscribe to Conservationist magazine -New York's award-winning publication with astonishingly beautiful photography and captivating articles.
Learn the best places to view wildlife at DEC's Watchable Wildlife pages.
Project BudBurst is a citizen science program where people make regular observations of plants in their area and report their findings. People might observe a plant in their backyard, neighborhood, school, workplace or along a daily walk. Their findings help scientists understand changes in our natural environment.
BudBurst Buddies is a part of Project BudBurst designed specifically for children. To participate, kids pick a tree or shrub to watch. During the year, they make multiple observations about the changes the plant is undergoing. If they report at least four different observations, they will receive an official BudBurst Buddy certificate.
You can make spring come earlier by cutting branches from flowering trees and forcing them to bloom inside. Find a tree that has not bloomed yet, and cut off long branches with fat buds; these are the flower buds. Put the branches in a pail or vase filled with water, and wait until they open. Fruit trees like peach, apricot and cherry force very well.
Read Conservationist for Kids for more information and activities!
Youth Turkey Hunt-Upstate New York and Suffolk County
Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24
Visit DEC's website for more information about the Youth Turkey Hunt.
Fishing at Norrie Point
Saturday, April 30 from 2:00 to 5:00 PM
All equipment is provided.
Family Fun: Birding for Kids
Thursday, April 21 at 10:00 AM
Parent(s) and child(ren) must accompany each other. Call 518-475-0291 to register by Monday, April 18.
Family Fun: Earth Day Festival
Saturday, April 23 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM
Citizen Science: Woodcock Watch
Thursday, April 28 at 7:00 PM
Citizen Science: Frogwatch
Friday, April 29 at 7:30 PM
Waterproof footgear and flashlights are recommended. Call 518-475-0291 for more information.
Cheep Thrills: Birding by Ear
Saturday, April 30 at 10:00 AM
Binoculars and bird guides are helpful but not necessary.
Girl Scout Program: I Went to the Meadow
Saturday, April 30 at 2:00 PM
For Daisy Girl Scouts and their leader(s). Registration for this program is through the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York. Call 518-489-8110 for more information. A materials fee applies.
How to Do It: Gardening for Wildlife
Saturday, May 7 at 2:00 PM
Space is limited. Call 518-475-0291 by Friday, April 29 to register.
Signs of Spring
Friday, April 22 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Call 518-456-0655 to register. Cost: $3.00/person, $5.00/family, children under 5 free.
Advance registration is required. Call 716-683-5959.
Thursday, April 21 and 28 at 4:30 PM
For children in grades K-5. No registration required.
Signs of Spring
Saturday, April 23 at 10:30 AM
Trees of Reinstein Woods
Saturday, April 30 at 10:30 AM