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A Tree Study in January/February (Senior Primary)

       female catkins   hazel nuts                  male catkins                

Choose a hazel tree to observe and study.

Q       Is a hazel tree?                 deciduous                      evergreen

          Examine the bark of a hazel tree.  Circle the words that best describe the bark.


                   dull                                 shiny                               rough                  

                   brownish/grey                 smooth                           with pores


The horizontal pores on the bark, enable the tree to breathe.

The flowers of a hazel are called catkins.  

Catkins appear before the leaves so they can be pollinated by the wind. If the leaves were on the tree first, the pollen might stick to them.  Hazels have male and female catkins on the same tree.

Male catkins begin to develop in autumn.  They are long and  brownish/yellow in colour.  Early the following spring they become a creamy/yellow colour. 

Female catkins are small and brown with bright red styles.  They ripen after the male catkins. 

Q       Which catkin do you think is sometimes called a lamb’s tail? ______________       

Q       Why? __________________________________________________________

Q       How do you think the pollen from a male catkin is spread to a female catkin? Please tick.  

                   birds                     insects                            wind    

          Be careful of catkins if you suffer from allergies!

Bring some twigs with catkins into your classroom.  Place them in a jar of water.  Leave the jar on a sheet of white paper. 

Q       What do you notice after a few days?




Look closely at a male catkin.  It has more than one hundred tiny flowers.  

Touch a male catkin with the tip of your finger. 

Q       What colour is your finger?  ______________________________________  

Q       What makes it yellow?     _________________________________________

Q       Name other trees that have flowers called catkins.  


Flowers develop into seeds in autumn.

Q       What is the seed of a hazel called? _________________________________

Think! How does the life cycle of a hazel begin again?


Now is a good time to read and enjoy the Song of Wandering Aengus by WB Yeats.

I went out to the hazel wood………………


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