Sunday, January 27, 2008

Rings of Growth

What do you do with a big stump in your backyard? Make a Time-Line of course. Supposedly each growth ring marks one year as the tree trunk grows outward. They say that a thick growth ring means there was plenty of rain that year; a thin or group of thin growth rings, means drought. Also, I noticed that the center of the concentric rings of the trunk was not exactly in the center . The trunk was skewed so that thicker growth rings were toward the southern exposure. Does the tree grow faster on the sunny side of its truck?

In any case this was an old, big oak. My grand kids came over and we placed push pins into the exposed trunk to mark their birth years, young. The pins representing the parents' ages were mid-way on the trunk where the kids are pointing. And finally the old man. Egads! closer to the center. We didn't count all the rings, but I estimate the tree was about 90 to 100 years old- and no, I'm not THAT old.

Incidentally, the common name of this tree is called "Willow oak". Where is that forestry Professor? I will have to get back to you to give you the scientific name.

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