Certain trees grow in certain places for very good reasons. Try making a tree distribution map for Idaho. We’ll choose six common species. There are of course many more, but the map gets complicated enough with just six. You can talk about how certain species thrive under certain circumstances where others will not.
For example, in most of North Idaho the Ponderosa Pines are all old trees. You rarely see a young Ponderosa because the seedlings require fire to break the seeds open and allow the next generation to sprout. But Idaho for decades practiced total suppression of wildfires.
Look up each species on the map below and find out details that make it live where it does. Look at a physical map of Idaho and see what the land is like where these trees grow. How much rainfall, what elevation, and so on.
Here is a printable of the Idaho Tree Distribution Map, the colored version and a blank map of Idaho.
- Look up common trees in your state.
- Try another type of distribution map, like population, or religion, or wealth for your state.
- Learn to identify the trees around your neighborhood. If you live in the city or the suburbs these species are probably not native. Go to a state park or other wilderness area and identify some native trees or plants.