Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nature Experienceship - Aspen Forests with Sam St. Clair

Saturday morning we went up and around the Aspen Loop to look at aspen and pine trees. Sam St. Clair our gide was determined for everyone to LOVE plants by the end of the experienceship. He talked about adaptations and defences that trees naturally have. Fir trees have sap 'pustules' that squirt out sap when squeezed to deter pine beetles and other insects. He said that a big reason there is so much loss of pine forests to the beetles is because the drought prevented the trees from making the sap packets and the beetles were free to burrow in the bark. Aspen trees have chlorophyll in their bark which means that their trunks can photosynthesize even after they have lost all their leaves, and aspens have a waxy layer you can rub on your skin which acts like sunscreen. The experienceship was a blast and I walked away loving trees!

Paige Bryson, Museum educator

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