Four Newton County 4-H'ers competed in tree identification, saw timber estimation, insect and disease identification and pacing at the district Forestry Field Day competition September 10 in Conyers.
Students competing were Kelsi Holland and Erica Babcock of Palmer-Stone Elementary and Austin Wynne and Jarod Holland of Cousins Middle.
The team - made up of two fifth graders, a seventh grader and an eighth grader - also had to practice spelling while learning varieties of trees, insects and diseases.
Correctly spelled, complete answers were worth 10 points each; misspelled answers were only worth five points; and incomplete answers were worth zero points.
In tree identification, the 4-H'ers learned 44 varieties of trees found in Georgia. They had to identify the tree from a small branch with no fruits or nuts visible.
This can be particularly difficult especially with so many species of pine indigenous to Georgia.
More than 20 forestry insects and diseases were studied by the team to be identified either by the insect itself or the resulting damage they inflict on trees and plants.
During the saw timber estimation competition students had to estimate the amount of merchantable board feet in a forest before purchasing it or cutting it for lumber.
The last event was pacing, where 4-H'ers must walk a course marked by flags and estimate the distance covered by multiplying their pace (the distance covered in a person's step) by the number of steps taken.
Georgia Power volunteer Matt Goff, forestry commission Chief Ranger Terry Quigley, volunteer leaders Doug and Elaine Kimble and county extension staff Terri Kimble and Ted Wynne assisting the team through six weeks of practice.
Teams with high school 4-H'ers must learn additional trees, insects and diseases and complete a compass and pacing course, also known as orienteering.
The next judging event will be Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Jamboree, with practices beginning Sept. 24.
4-H'ers will learn to be informed shoppers and better speakers, while learning more about gift cards, popcorn, T-shirts and sunglasses.
For more information on Newton County 4-H, contact the 4-H office at (770) 784-2010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.