Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Climate Change and Leaf-out in Plants

A classroom/laboratory activity to explore the possible role of climate-related environmental factors in the timing of leaf-out in plants (specifically, red maple leaf-out in New England). 

In this activity, students will create graphs by using data for the timing of red maple leaf-out in New England. They will analyze these graphs and discuss the possible effect of changing spring temperatures on leaf-out.

Use this tool to help students find answers to:

  1. What is leaf-out?
  2. What are the climate-related factors that may affect leaf-out in plants?
  3. Which phenological events in plants could be affected by a change in the average spring temperature?


About the Tool

Tool Name The Timing of Red Maple Leaf-out
Discipline Biological Sciences
Topic(s) in Discipline Phenology in Plants, Phenological Events in plants,  Life-cycle Events in Plants, Leaf-out
Climate Topic Climate and the Biosphere
Type of Tool Classroom/Laboratory Activity
Grade Level High school, Undergraduate
Location New England, USA
Language English
Developed by Elissa Koskela (University of Maine Cooperative Extension), Dr. Molly Schauffler (University of Maine Climate Change Institute and RiSE Center)
Hosted at Signs of the Seasons: A New  England Phenology Program, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Access Online, Offline
Computer Skills Basic