This Fresh Air Moment features why bigger isn’t always better here in Arizona. For this activity go outside and take a close look at the leaves on the trees. Are the leaves big or small, long and thin or big and wide? Feel free to record you observations of the leaves that you see. Then pick two leaves of different sizes. I picked the leaves of a manzanita and the needles of a pinyon pine; with our leaves we are going to conduct a simple experiment.
For our experiment we are going to test how much water comes out of a plant’s leaves, by putting out leaves in two separate plastic bags. Leave the two bags out in the sun for two hours, after the two hours have passed check on your leaves and record your observations.
In our region of the Central Highlands of Arizona, a lot of our tree’s leaves have a smaller surface size so that they can adapt to our drier conditions and hold in water for longer periods of time. In the comments below take a guess about which plant will lose more water, and don’t forget to show us pictures of your experiment as well.