Trees of Life
©1993 Steve Schuch / Night Heron Music (ASCAP).

At the heart of many ancient stories from around the world is a sacred tree. A tree of wisdom or knowledge, a tree of life. Trees do things no human ever can. Out of sunshine, water, air and soil, they bring forth life.

Song tracks: Trees of Life | Turn the World Around | The Forest is a Wonderful Place | If I Had Wings | Sap Time | Barges | Silent Huntress | Ibis the Whale | Two Different Worlds | The Animal Song | The Garden Round | Where Will We Go | The Little Prince | Zeno-ba-ba-da | Giving Tree | Activity Guide Home





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Trees of the mountain, bent by the wind
Gnarled and weathered yet strong within
Laying down rings in the plenty of time
Hoping the seasons are kind...

Roots go down, leaves come up
A bit of care and a measure of luck
The Trees of Life will yet grow tall
The seed’s inside of us all

Trees by the river, roots in the sand
Holding on fast to the changing land
Water be high or the water be low
You lean, you bend, and you grow... Chorus

All kinds of trees all over the earth
You give us the air that we need at our birth
Wood for our homes and a place for our young
Warmth when summer is done... Chorus

So taking this seed in our hands and our hearts
Planting it well where a new life may start
Part of the circle that never will end
A circle that comes ’round again... Chorus

Listen to the sound file

Suggested Activity

Tree Mural
Create a class Tree of Life mural. Each student can paint a part of the tree, or add a leaf. On that leaf, try writing something about trees you’re thankful for. Or write a tree haiku, or a wish you’d like to make for trees.

Tree Stories
Do you have a favorite book about a tree? Maybe even a chapter where trees play a role in a larger story, like the Ents in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Ask your librarian for some good books to read. Or write a story of your own involving a favorite tree you like to sit under or climb.

Tree Detective
Like people, trees have traveled from many different places. Scientists have found evidence proving even northern oak trees started out in the tropics! Pick one tree in your neighborhood and find out everything you can about it. How old is it? What family is it in, and who are some of its relatives? Where did it come from originally? Interview your grandparents or any neighbors who can tell you about its history. Are there any old photographs? Take photos. Include close ups of its leaves and bark “fingerprints.” Submit these and any other “evidence” when giving your report.

Tree Adaptations
Why do trees come in so many shapes and sizes? Why do certain kinds of trees grow in some places, but not others? Just like us, trees need certain things to live. But different habitats offer different kinds of soil, water, light and air. Over time, trees change how they grow. They develop different kinds of leaves, roots and bark. They even come up with different ways to produce their seeds and fruit. These changes are called “adaptations.”

What’s different about a “tree of the mountain” like a bristle cone pine, than a tree that lives by a river, or one growing in a rain forest? What are some adaptations that help different trees survive where they do?

See additional notes and activities for “Sap Time” and “Giving Tree.” Also see notes about Adaptations for “If I Had Wings.

To see pictures of Steve Schuch’s tree planting work in the Peace Corps, visit “Where There’s No Running Water: Life in a Third World Village".

Night Heron Music • 72 Meeting Hill Road, Hillsborough, NH 03244 • USA
• ph (603) 464-4321 •

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