How to Study Tree Rings

The purpose of this column is to provide projects that will encourage readers to begin doing science. Whether you’re a student looking for a good science fair project or an adult wanting to start personal science study, I hope you’ll find this or a future project worthy of pursuing.

Tree Rings

In temperate and arctic regions, most trees are dormant during winter. When spring arrives, a sudden burst of growth expands trunks and branches with new wood formed from large cells and known as early wood (or spring wood).

As the growing season peaks, the growth slows, and the late wood (or summer wood) that’s formed has cells with thicker walls. This late wood may appear much darker than ...

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