Know, Know, Know Your Oaks

I was taught this song in my college trees class. The student that shared it with the class said she had learned it Girl Scouts.
There are several species or types of oaks. The White Oak is the state tree of Illinois, among other states. Sing this song to the tune of “Row, row, row your boat” to try to identify what type of oak you are looking at. The branching structures will match the song.

musicKnow, know know your oaks,

Look at how they grow

Red Oak (make a ‘V’ with your arms above your head)

red oak

White Oak (hold your arms straight out from your shoulders)

white oak

Pin Oak (make an upside down “V” with your arms pointing toward the ground)

Quercus palustris

Bur Oak (make your arms twist in different directions)

Quercus macrocarpa

And the acorns down below! (wiggle your fingers and point to the ground)

Photo credits: David Lee, & David Stephens,

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

37 thoughts on “Know, Know, Know Your Oaks

  1. My daughter has taught me all kinds of educational songs. Including the Presidents, and the States and capitals. Now I can teach her one. She did teach me the other way to tell red oaks from white oak. Red oaks have pointy leaves like the Indians’ arrow heads. White oaks have rounded leaves like the white man’s bullets.


  2. This is amazing! I can get as far as “oak” and I think I remember someone saying something about pointy leaves and witches and black oaks at some point (I could be totally off on that one), but this may actually help me remember more! I can be taught (or at least I think I can).


Time to fire-up the chair-to-keyboard interface!!!

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