The Washington Park Arboretum is full of quiet nooks, unusual plants, and hidden groves where our imagination can run free and our curiosity is hooked. Bring your family and come find this special spot!
Who are they? This is a grove of sequoia trees, also known as:
Giant sequoia – Sierra redwood – Sequoiadendron giganteum – big-tree – mammoth-tree
Did you know?
These giant trees are all more than 70 years old and the tallest is 139 feet tall and 13 feet and 11 inches round.
The word “sequoia” contains all five vowels.
This quiet grove of sequoia trees is a favorite destination of our school groups and summer camps. We might play meet-a-tree or hide-and-seek, or eat our lunch in their shade or discover how trees grow and reproduce, and act out a tree’s life cycle.
To find this place you have to cross this:
And walk to the left of this:
Why don’t you come and visit these friendly giants? You could:
- Play hide and seek
- Feel their bark and find a cone
- Have a picnic underneath these mysterious mammoths
- Find out how many humans it takes to wrap around one
- Read a story sitting against one of their trunks (all available at CUH’s Miller Library)
- The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
- A Grand Old Tree by Mary Newell DePalma
- Ancient Ones: The World of the Old-Growth Douglas Fir by Barbara Bash
- A Tree is Growing by Arthur Dorros
- Act out the life cycle of a tree!
Become a seed (curl up in a tight ball) – Now sprout! (Uncurl and kneel) – Grow a branch by sticking out one of your arms – Grow another branch, stick out the other arm – Grow leaves (wiggle your fingers) = Grow tall (stand up, feet together) – Grow roots (spread your feet apart) – Grow rootlets (wiggle your toes) – Oh no! You are being attacked by insects and fungi (start scratching all over – Lose a limb to lighting (make a loud noise and put your arm by your side) – Become a home for wildlife (smile!) – Woodpeckers looking for insects start exploring your dead wood (make a knocking noise) – You are blown down (make a creaking noise and fall down) – Become a nurse log, a new seed sprouts from rotting wood (stick one arm up).
- Play a game!
I Like Trees
One person stands in the middle and everyone else finds a tree to stand in front of. Have each person mark their tree by putting a bandana, backpack or other visible item in front of it. The person standing in the middle (not next to a tree) says “I like___” and fills in the blank with something they like (could be about trees, or anything!). If other people like that thing too then they leave their tree and have to find another tree to touch (one with a marking in front of it). The person who called out “I like ____” also tries to find a tree to stand in front of. One person will be left without a tree and then it is their turn to stand in the middle and say “I like___” about something. Keep playing until everyone has had a turn in the middle.
This is a great game for younger kids. Have each kid pick a tree. Maybe encourage them to get to know their tree a bit before the game starts. When you say “tree” or “sequoia” (or whatever word you decide to be the “go” word) the kids run and touch another tree. Do this over and over and the kids will love running from tree to tree and waiting for you to call out the word. Mix it up a little and say other words to help build the anticipation before you say your “go” word.
Jacobson, A. L. (2006). Trees of seattle. (2nd ed., pp. 362-363). Seattle: Arthur Lee Jacobson.