Science, Tech, Math › Science Silver Tree Chemistry Demonstration Silver Crystals on a Copper Tree Share Flipboard Email Print You can use a chemical reaction to deposit silver crystals like these onto a copper Christmas tree form to make a silver tree. Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images Science Chemistry Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated February 06, 2020 In this simple chemistry demonstration or crystal project you'll grow a silver crystal tree. This is a variation of the classic method of growing silver crystals on a copper wire or bead of mercury. Silver Crystal Tree Materials All you need for this project is a silver salt solution and copper metal. Silver nitrate is one of the easiest silver compounds to obtain. Copper is used for safety reasons, but the project also works with other metals, such as mercury. Sheet of copper that has been cut into a tree shape or a tree made from copper wire0.1 M silver nitrate solution Grow a Silver Crystal Tree The project couldn't be easier! Place the copper tree in a clear glass container. For the best effect, make sure the sides of the tree aren't touching the sides of the container. Add the silver nitrate solution so that it touches the tree. How It Works The reaction is a displacement or replacement reaction, where the copper takes the place of the silver. The silver is deposited on the copper metal, essentially electroplating it and eventually growing crystals. 2 Ag+ + Cu → Cu2+ + 2 Ag When you are finished growing the silver crystals, you can remove the tree from the solution and use it as a decoration.