Preserving Plants

This week’s blog post is written by¬†Makayla. She is a Bucktails alum and monthly correspondent. She outlines the best way to journal and preserve plants! Take a look at samples from her collection here!¬†


Plant collections are a perfect way to “preserve” trees and plants. While at the Bucktails Field School, I learned how to create my own plant collection. Taking photos of plants and/or pressing them are great ways to start your collection. It is important to always have a ruler in the picture or plant scan.


I really enjoy identifying, pressing, and scanning plants. Identifying the plants is the most difficult part of the whole process. Therefore, I use multiple field guides. Since I do not have a plant press like the one we used at the field school, I made my own version of a plant press. First, I put the plant specimen in between a piece of newspaper. Then I put that between two pieces of cardboard. Lastly, I put a flat, heavy box on top of the pieces of cardboard. After letting them sit for a day, I add weight. I let them sit for another day and then they are ready to be scanned. So in total, I let the plants in the press for two days. Then I scan them using my printer and put the picture into a word document.


Here is one specimen from my Backyard Plant Collection.


This is another plant scan from my Backyard Plant Collection.