poetry and prose about place

early schooling – apple trees for climbing

with 8 comments

2015 160


When I find an old one room school still standing, there are often apple trees in the yard. I realise these trees may not have existed a century ago, but it makes me think how important trees are to kids. I can imagine, if there was an apple tree or an orchard near the school yard, it would have been a favorite place for the students to play at recess and lunch-time.


Apple trees were made for climbing. And for hanging swings. Perhaps for carving initials. Or shaking loose blossom petals on friends standing beneath the tree.


Lower Queensbury School 2 crop

Lower Queensbury School, York County, New Brunswick


I grew up in a city in the 1960s when authorities considered concrete the best play surface for a school yard. Run and risk a skinned knee. There were monkey bars for climbing, but I find myself wishing my school yard memories included an apple tree with a big horizontal limb.


'antics' May 31, 2016 Jane Tims


Did you have trees to play on where you went to school?


Copyright  Jane Tims  2016 

Written by jane tims

June 1, 2016 at 7:25 am

8 Responses

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  1. We didn’t have trees in the school yard, but I spent hours in the trees at home. My mother once told me she had to close her eyes and bite her tongue sometimes when she looked out the window to see what we were up to. Or should I say, to see how high up we were.

    We took our toddling granddaughter to a school playground a couple of weeks ago. The surface had a nice squishy feel to it and when she fell there were no skinned knees. Amazing how things have changed…

    Liked by 1 person

    Barbara Rodgers

    June 1, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    • Hi Barbara. The concrete surface in the 1960s was great for games of the time – marbles, tops and ball. I am glad if today’s playground surfaces allow kids to run and tumble. Glad you didn’t fall out of that tree! Jane


      jane tims

      June 1, 2016 at 2:37 pm

  2. Plenty of trees, but climbing them was banned. They were for measuring with trig and that sort of thing!

    Liked by 1 person


    June 1, 2016 at 10:22 am

    • Ah, the ‘lesson in nature’. Teachers were encouraged to create lessons from everything. To this day I can’t see ‘words written per day’ without plotting them on a graph. Come to think of it, why do I keep track of ‘words written per day’?


      jane tims

      June 1, 2016 at 11:00 am

  3. Of course Jane! 😉 My favorite memory is a pine tree … that for some strange reason lacked a top. Shaped like a crows nest. I clearly remember sitting in it with 2 or 3 of my friends. (Yes it held us all.) Probably after I fell in the brook … filling both of my boots with water … and was hiding out trying to solve unsolvable problem.

    Liked by 1 person


    June 1, 2016 at 8:04 am

    • I wonder if the child in you was concerned at all with getting pitch on clothing or hands! Perhaps its resemblance to a nest was why you loved it!


      jane tims

      June 1, 2016 at 10:56 am

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