What is ArbLeaf?
ArbLeaf is a leaf collecting adventure set up on our beautiful West Side (801 Elks Road Entrance). Throughout the property, we have marked 51 unique trees with signs for identification. The program is running from August 18th until October 24th. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-5pm. Allow enough time to walk and collect the number of leaves needed.
Who can participate?
Anyone can participate! Whether you are completing a school assignment, brushing up on your tree ID skills, or simply want to take a different hiking route - ArbLeaf is for you!
How much does it cost?
ArbLeaf is completely free! No charge!
How does it work?
It is simple! Either print the map or pick one up outside the Nature Center in the brochure rack. Start by the Administration Building and follow the map, orange tape, and signs.
It is easy! Simply bring a camera or cell phone and snap photos of the leaves. It takes less time to prepare, stays organized, and keeps the tree from being damaged. Plus, you can take more "samples" like bark, nut/fruit, and twigs. Our best advice would be to take a photo of the QR tag, then the samples you want. That way, when you go back through, you have already organized the samples for later. Additionally, your samples will stay as fresh as the day you collected them!
How to collect a leaf
Collect leaves on the ground. These leaves have already fallen from the tree and minimizes damage. If you must, you can collect from the tree. To do so, follow the instructions below:
First, find the leaf and identify whether it is simple or compound. Follow the stem of the leaf to the branch. Once your finger is at the branch, gently snap the stem backwards and the leaf will snap off. That way, you get the entire leaf sample and do not damage the tree in the process.
Before you arrive
Figure out what type of preservation medium - book, baggies, etc - you would like to utilize.
We find the easiest method to be a large book, such as a telephone book, that can be written in. Put sticky tabs into the book to mark collection pages or parchment paper with the name of the tree printed on it. By doing this beforehand, you do not have to struggle with a pen and can properly space the leaves in order.
If you rather use baggies, make sure to mark baggies before arriving so you do not have to struggle with a marker. Bring a tote or canvas bag to keep your collection in so it does not fly away from you.
Just remember leaves come in all shapes and sizes so you may need large books and baggies.