TiNY CLUB: Tree Transpiration

Today’s Tiny Club is all about transpiration!

Transpiration: The process of water’s movement up through a plant and out through the leaves, stems, and flowers. 

We’ve learned a lot about trees this month. First, we read Britta Teckentrup’s book Tree to learn about trees in different seasons. Then we learned why they change colors and how they get their nutrients.  Now it’s time to learn how water moves through them!

Trees need water to live. However, only a tiny portion of the water they take in through their roots is used to help them grow and metabolize. The rest of the water is released into the air through transpiration. 

Metabolize: To change food to energy. 

Today, we’re going to try a simple science experiment to watch the transpiration process happen. Here’s what you’ll need:

Materials:
A tree with leaves
A plastic bag, like a Ziploc bag
A rubber band or piece of string

Instructions:
Step 1. Find a tree.
Step 2. Take your plastic bag and slide it over a few leaves. 
Step 3. Use a rubber band or string to tighten the bag around the tree branch so that the leaves are enclosed in the bag.
Step 4. Wait for a few hours.
Step 5. Go check your plastic bag!

What happened?
You should start to see water pooling in your plastic bag. This is due to transpiration! The water traveled through the tree and out of the leaves. Instead of going into the air, however, we trapped the water in our bag.

You might be wondering what happens to the water in the air once it’s been released by the trees. Well, eventually it will come back down to the earth again in the form of rain!

Want to learn more about transpiration? Stop by the Science Bar anytime between now and October 1 to learn about the transpiration of the Amazon Rainforest and Brazil’s River in the Sky as a part of our Hispanic Heritage Month celebration!

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