Bushcraft and the Natural World

Grandpa’s Tree Joke

pine tree, river, article title

Original photo by Andrew Spencer,


WARNING:  This joke contains adult themes that are not appropriate for young children.


Storytelling as a Family Tradition

My grandfather was a tough, no-nonsense guy.  I imagine he had to be, to survive as a junior high school principal in the New York City schools.  By the time I came to know him he was long retired.  My grandparents lived “in the country,” in a small cabin he built 50 miles north of Manhattan. 

He was a storyteller with a hilarious sense of humor.  His eyes danced as he regaled us with jokes and humorous tales.  His thin frame became sprightly as he reached the climax of the story.  And his normally subdued voice boomed the punchline so that it echoed off the walls.  It was the voice of a man accustomed to captivating an audience.

It doesn’t surprise me that storytelling, and joke telling in particular, is part of our family tradition.  And it’s no mystery where my own father came by his storytelling talents.


The Tree Joke

When I was a teenager my grandfather told me this joke.  I spend a lot of time with naturalists, nature interpreters, and wildlife biologists.  So I’ve had ample opportunity to use it over the years.  Now I’d like to share it with you…


The Two Trees

Two trees lived in a forest, a Birch tree and a Beech tree.  One day a sapling sprung up between them and they started to argue: 

Was it a Son of a Birch?  Or a Son of a Beech?

The Birch exclaimed, “It’s a Son of a Birch!”

But the Beech insisted, “It’s a Son of a Beech!”

Back and forth they argued.  Son of a Birch!  Son of a Beech!  Son of a Birch!  Son of a Beech!

One day a woodpecker flew by.  The trees thought, “Let’s ask an expert.” 

“Mr. Woodpecker,” they pleaded, “can you tell us:  Is it a Son of a Birch or a Son of a Beech?”

The woodpecker replied, “I’ll do it!”  He started pecking on the sapling.  “Wow!  This is amazing!” he exclaimed.  He pecked some more.  “This is Wonderful!”  he shouted.  He pecked and pecked “This is terrific!” he screamed.

The trees could stand it no longer.  “Tell us!”  they demanded, “Is it a Son of a Birch or a Son of a Beech?”

And the woodpecker replied…

“It’s neither.  It’s the best piece of Ash I’ve had my pecker in all week!”    😀   


I hope you got a chuckle out of it.  Here are some more nature jokes, below…


More Jokes on NatureOutside

How to Catch a Polar Bear (bushcraft Joke)

Animal ID Joke

Animal Tracking Joke


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