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Make a fractal tree to celebrate National Tree Week

This week is National Tree Week, the UK’s largest annual tree celebration and since it began in 1975, millions of trees have been planted around the UK.

So, why not wrap up warm, go for a walk and take a look at the beautiful trees in your local area. It’s also a great opportunity to spot some maths in nature!

To show our support for The Tree Council we have come up with a tree inspired creative maths activity.

Have you ever looked at a tree, really looked?

Now is the perfect time as trees have lost their leaves for winter. Find a tree, start at the trunk and move upwards, you will see that it separates into several branches. If you follow one of the branches you will see that it too separates in a way that is similar. In fact, each branch itself is a smaller tree shape.  So, a tree is like a fractal – a never ending pattern of self-similar shapes that repeats itself. What looks like a large, complex object, is formed by repeating a simple process over and over again.

Create your own fractal tree

Why not have a go at drawing or creating your own fractal tree. Sticks, chalk, pencils, playdough and foil are great materials for experimenting with the patterns of trees.

Festive fractals

As a festive twist, you could take part in our Christmaths TetraTREEdron Project and build a 3D fractal Christmas tree.

Find out how to take part in our Christmaths TetraTREEdron Project here  And don’t forget to share your TetraTREEDron by sending us a photo of your creation so we can add it to our online Tree of Hope gallery.