Tree Aging

Every year, trees start to grow at the first sign of spring. They will begin to photosynthesize and grow new wood layers called tree rings. The rings that grow during the spring grow at a very fast rate and are made up of very large cells making it appear lighter in color. As the summer season progresses, the growth of a tree begins to slow down where smaller cells are made, making it appear dark in color. The alternating light and dark rings reveals information about the age of the tree. The appearance of the ring tells us about the conditions the tree was experiencing during a particular point in time. Some rings appear uniform in shape, thickness, and color, which may indicate little to no disturbance during a tree’s growth. Other appearances may hint at periods of time when a tree experienced a natural or man-made disturbance, such as a drought, a fire, a cut, exposure to diseases, or a lightning strike.

Credit: Angelica Patterson

To learn more about the methods we use to age a tree and the unique features that exist on our tree rings, watch the video inside!