Seeking the Wolf Tree is a story for upper elementary students about an adventure two students take through the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. Join Aurora and Orion as they search for a “wolf tree” in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, looking for such clues as a large trunk, low branches, wildlife activity, and nearby smaller trees.
Old-time New England foresters coined the term “wolf tree” for trees they saw as having the ability to “eat” the sun and nutrients and prevent the growth of other trees. Today we understand that wolf trees are the elders of Northeastern forests—rare survivors of an era when most of their fellow trees were cleared to make way for fields and pastures. They are the oldest, largest trees in a regenerating forest and provide important habitat for wildlife.
Wolf trees have:
- Low branches
- A large trunk
- Signs of age
- Signs of wildlife use
- Smaller trees growing nearby
Seeking the Wolf Tree communicates core ideas related to the nature of science as well as energy flow and cycling of matter in ecosystems. It can serve as an intriguing introduction to a unit on ecology, or be read at the beginning of the year and used as a platform for ecological concepts from which to refer back to throughout the school year. Seeking the Wolf Tree is part of the LTER Schoolyard Series of books.
Find Supplemental Teaching Materials at the following links: