Roots and Branches

Trees are amazing! They make food from sunlight. They are the tallest living things on earth. And they provide homes and food for all sorts of animals. A tree is made up of three parts. The roots underground help the tree to take in water and nutrients (food). The trunk helps the tree stand tall. It has tubes for water and food to move up and down. The crown is the part where leaves grow and use sunlight to make sugar (tree food).

You can’t see the roots, so you might be surprised to know that a tree is as big under the ground as it is above the ground. It’s true! A tree needs lots of very deep roots to be able to support its big body—kind of like how tall people have big feet so they don’t fall over. Having strong roots helps trees to stay strong and upright even on a windy day. And it lets them reach down deep to find the water and nutrients they need. Strong, deep roots mean a healthy tree.

Try This!

Find a tree in your neighborhood or in a local park and find the branch that reaches the furthest from the trunk of the tree. Follow the branch until you are standing under the very end of it. Look down. What do you see? Probably nothing. But underneath the ground beneath your feet are the roots of the tree! Even though you can’t see the roots, they are just as important as the part you can see to keep the tree healthy and strong. Now try to imagine how big the tree really is if you include the roots under the ground!

Strong Roots = Strong Faith

Did you know that trees can teach us something about our faith? The Bible often uses examples from creation to teach us about our faith. Here is a verse that talks about being rooted in Christ:

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness (Col. 2:6-7 NLT).

Just like a tree, we need strong roots. By studying God’s word and trusting in Christ, we can have strong roots that help us to stand strong and do what is right, no matter what.

About the Author

Susie Vander Vaart is an environmental educator and ecologist who spends most of her time outside exploring creation.

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