Fall Harvest: The Fruits that Trees Give

As the hot days of summer come to an end and the first whispers of winter blow through the trees, farmers and gardeners will be working hard to harvest the fruits and vegetables they planted. When people hear the word “harvest” they probably think of all the vegetables that come from plants, but some trees have also been a source for harvesting for hundred of years now. Native Americans who lived in Michigan used trees to make their canoes and houses. Earlier settlers like Lemuel and Elisha Taylor also used trees to build their log cabins and first clap board houses. In addition to providing transportation and shelter for our ancestors, trees have been a source for nutrition and delight. Apples and walnuts are just two fruits that humans can eat from trees. What is more delightful than fresh maple sap/syrup on a warm stack of pancakes during the fall or winter months? Besides providing food, trees provide inspiration and lasting memories for our souls. Some of our best authors and naturalists, like Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, were all inspired by trees. Even ancient cultures saw the beauty and mysteries of trees. Take the Welsh Proverb that says, “A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible.” In my own poetic reflections about trees, I have come to see them as the best example of selfless giving. They provide homes for so many wild animals, freely give oxygen to all creatures indiscriminately, absorb harmful carbon dioxide, and stabilize soil through deep roots and prevent wind erosion. If you are interested in teaching children the value and uniqueness of trees, here are two games I have come across.

Meet a Tree: Kids (4 years old and up) are blind folded and led to a tree and are asked questions about it. The kids are then walked back to a starting point and are then asked to find their tree with their eyes open


Recipe for a Forest: Kids (7 years old and up) are given an imaginary plot of land and are asked to write what ingredients they want their forest to be made from. They can write it on one side of note card and then draw what it would look like on the blank side.


You can also enjoy one of the “fruits” from trees during September and October by using our apple pressing machine. Every Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. during these two months, the Museum will be allowing the general public to use our cider press to make homemade cider. Please call to sign up for a time at

(248) 656-4663 or rhmuseum@rochesterhills.org

Patrick Endres, Museum Staff Assistant—Environmental Education

About Tom and Ann Gendich

Founders of Rochester Media. Looking to provide great local news to all people in and around Rochester and Rochester Hills. Send them a note at info@rochestermedia.com.

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