Deciduous vs Nondeciduous Trees

Kids compare deciduous and non-deciduous trees as they explore the king-of-plants.

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deciduous and nondeciduous worksheet

Botany Unit Study

MatchCard Science Deciduous and Non-deciduous Trees

Objective: Compare deciduous and nondeciduous trees.

MatchCard: Download below.

MatchCard Information Pieces are placed on the MatchCard to contrast deciduous and non-deciduous trees.

Download the Deciduous and Nondeciduous Trees MatchCard

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This is MatchCard #4 of the Botany Unit Study. Find more information on MatchCard Science below.

What Does Deciduous Mean?

Deciduous vs non-deciduous: which is which?

The word deciduous comes from the Latin word "dēcidere" to fall down or fall dead. (Deceased and decedent come from the same word.)

The leaves of the deciduous trees fall down every fall. The words "fall" and "deciduous" are closely connected.

So now you probably know which is which.

Facts about Deciduous Trees

Annual Leaves

Here are the basic facts about deciduous trees that MatchCard students in their comparisons:

Facts about Nondeciduous Trees


These are the important facts about the nondeciduous trees:


The Study of Tree Rings

Dendrology is a triple compound word from Greek: A dendrochronologist dates and studies trees, as well as the history of the era the tree lived in, by studying the rings.

Check Out Those Tree Rings

If there is an exposed tree trunk near you, take some time to check out the rings. How old was the tree when it died? Can you see the differences in the rainfall over the years?

Thick circles indicate a year with lots of rainfall; while a thin circle indicates little rainfall.

Activities to Learn More About Deciduous and Nondeciduous Trees

Here are some of the MatchCard Science hands-on activities done in this lesson.

Where Do the Fall Colors Come From?

Leaves are green, right? Then why do we see so many other colors in the fall months? Here’s how to find out: Use the rolling pin to crush each leaf individually. As an alternative, you can cut the leaf into tiny pieces with scissors or smash with your fingers. You are breaking the membranes with this action.

You can use the rolling pin with each leaf in a separate sandwich bag if you choose. Finally, put your squished up, crunched up leaf in the bottom of one of the jars. Repeat with the other leaves placing each in its own jar.

Pour rubbing alcohol over the leaf mixture in each jar. Use a fork or whisk to stir and compress the leaves against the side of the jar to help release the chlorophyl (green pigment) into the liquid. Repeat with all specimens.

Put a strip of coffee filter in each jar. It should be longer than the jar. Set aside. You will see the colored pigments in the leaf absorbed onto the filter paper and separate out.

This reaction can be sped up by putting all the jars in cake/pie pans and adding hot water to the pan.

Result: the fall colors are in the leaves all year round - but you don’t see them because the green chlorphyl masks them.

More Hands-On Activities

  • Field Guide - identify trees on a hike
  • Make Leaf Rubbings and or bark rubbings
  • Adopt a bonsai
  • Do four seasons art work on a neighborhood tree
  • Listen to a tree with a "styrofoam stethescope" in the spring
  • Observe or participate in a maple-syrup tap
  • Find a quick trick to identify the three most popular Christmas trees (pine, fir, spruce)
  • Observe an old log deteriorating into soil

  • MatchCard Science

    How To Use MatchCards


    MatchCards make science concepts and corresponding vocabulary interactive. As students move the information pieces on the MatchCards they review the material they have already learned.

    Download the FREE MatchCard Science Instructor's Guide and see how MatchCards can make building their science knowledge base fun.

    Botany Unit Study

    Botany Unit Study Cover

    Watch their green thumb sprout when kids use the MatchCard Science Botany Unit Study to learn about the plants all around us.

    Check out our entire Botany Unit Study with 11 objectives.

    12 Science Unit Studies

    MatchCard Science Cover

    Chemistry is only one of twelve complete unit studies for kids in 3rd to 8th grade.

    Comprehensive objectives, hands-on projects, suggested science fair experiments, and the fun game-like MatchCards keep them interested in learning science. See all twelve MatchCard Science Unit Studies.

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