Final Goodbyes to the Bur Oak

Picture of students working on an experiment

The Bunny Class said their final good-byes to Bur Oak on a cold, snowy January 14, 2015. Over the past year and a half, this class of curious kiddos became very attached to the tree and the life she supported. While they were of course sad to watch her go, the class learned many valuable lessons from this 300 year old tree that will help them grow into bright, inquisitive adults.

To properly honor Bur Oak Carson suggested making a cement rock to place on her stump.The class learned how to mix dry cement and decorated her “cemetery” stone with colorful stones and letters.

“It will say ‘Dearly beloved, here lies Bur Oak’.”


Because the tree was taken down in the prime of winter, the class was unable to get actual pieces of wood from the trunk of Bur Oak right away. Teacher Kristen Krystofiak has been in contact with Daniel Einstein from Campus Planning to hopefully recover some of the tree once it has thawed. There is currently an 8 foot piece of Bur Oak’s trunk patiently waiting near Picnic Point to get the okay from Daniel and his team to be given back to the Bunny Class. If all goes well, part of Bur Oak will join the playground at the Preschool Lab sometime this summer. For now, the salvaged leaves and branches from Bur Oak are being put to good use in the Bunny Class. “Story Fairy” is an important part of the class but she did not have a proper home so the class decided that Bur Oak could provide a new home for her. They were able to learn about drawing blueprints, problem solving, and spatial relationships. Pictured below is the new home of “Story Fairy” made from twigs and branches and leaves from Bur Oak.

Story Fairy

Another part of the class’ plan to continue the legacy of Bur Oak was to plant new Bur Oak trees in her place. The Bunny Class met with Tom Bryan, MA Plant Pathology and manager of Leopold Greenhouse, to help plant seven Bur Oak acorns.

Tom BryanTom Bryan 2


Megs Seeley, a forestry major, brought four of the seven baby bur oaks back to the class and helped repot them with four different types of soil. Every day the Bunny Class measures the four baby trees to see which one is growing the fastest. “We were given the opportunity to experience the process of scientific investigation through active observation, recording, describing, questioning, forming explanations, and drawing conclusions,” said teacher Kris Krystofiak.Baby bur oak


“They growed and growed and growed!.”-Somi

While the class will never forget Bur Oak, they have started a new science project to fill the time that was previously dedicated to Bur Oak. The children are learning about heat and pressure and hope to make diamonds from coal. It’s clear these preschoolers will never run out of curiosity!

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