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Tree Growth Around a Birdhouse Hook

This tree has grown around the hook on the birdhouse chain. The branch it was originally hung on broke off in a storm, but the hook remained inside the trunk of the tree.

Pleasantville, Iowa

Possible Guiding, Compelling and/or Anchoring Questions

  • How did the hook on the birdhouse chain get inside the trunk?
  • If the branch it was hanging on broke off in a storm, why didn’t the birdhouse fall down, too?

Classroom Suggestions

  • Lead students to understand that trees grow despite anything that might be obstructing them.  The trunk of a tree gets larger and larger as it grows with each passing year, and this tree was changed by a birdhouse that was hung on a branch and a storm that broke the branch on which it was originally hung.

Related Resources

  • All About Trees: Provides information and guidance about planting trees and how they will grow around solid objects if they’re planted too close to them.
  • The New Yorker: Article explains how a tree’s growth can be measured with new technology called a dendrometer.

Iowa Core Alignment


Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment

Credit Info

Submitted by Miika Busick


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