Tree dressing is celebrated in different cultures all over the world. It’s a tradition that brings people closer to trees and highlights the important role they play in our lives. It’s also a great way of saying thank you to trees for all the benefits they provide.

When your pupils complete the tree dressing challenge you can earn two points on the Green Tree Schools Award.

Your tree dressing celebration

Choose a tree, or group of trees, that are important to your school or community. Research tree dressing in other cultures for inspiration and make your own decorations to adorn your tree. Encourage your pupils to find out about the history of your tree and share stories about it. You could even hold a tree dressing event and invite parents and families to be part of the celebration.

Remember to take photos of your tree and the decorations made by your pupils. You’ll need these to claim your award points. After your celebration, take all the decorations down so they don’t harm the tree or the wildlife that lives in it.

Make your own tree decorations

Your pupils will really enjoy making meaningful decorations to display on their tree. Encourage them to get creative and use their imaginations.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Make paper leaves to hang from your tree. Children could colour them in and write messages or poems on them.
  • Cut lengths of colourful ribbons and tie them to branches so they ripple in the breeze.
  • Make your own bunting by cutting out paper triangles and attaching them to ribbon. Use the bunting to tell a story – pupils could draw pictures showing the wildlife that lives in the tree or how people enjoy it. When it’s finished, wrap the bunting around the trunk.
  • Use fallen leaves and seeds to make natural garlands and decorations.

Tree Dressing Day

You can do this activity at any time of year, but you might like to plan it around Tree Dressing Day which takes place in the first weekend of December.

Get two points on the Green Tree Schools Award

To claim your points you’ll need to send us photographs of your dressed tree, or trees, and tell us about your celebration.

Email learning@woodlandtrust.org.uk with the subject line 'Tree dressing challenge'.

We’ll add your points to your account after we’ve received your evidence (usually within two weeks).

How we use your photos

We like to use images and quotes from schools to inspire other teachers and pupils about outdoor learning. They could appear on our award materials, website, press releases and social media.

If you'd prefer us not to use your photos and comments in this way, please make this clear when you send them to us. If you're happy for us to use them, please make sure you have permission from parents and photographers before you submit them.

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