Secrets in Tree Rings
Let’s inspect and count the rings in the wood of trees and find out what they tell us about the tree’s age and its growing conditions.
Many kinds of trees form a new ring each year. These rings give clues about the tree’s age and growth conditions. Thin rings usually indicate less rain than usual during the spring growing season. Thick rings usually indicate more rain than usual. The width of rings can also be influenced by other reasons. Tropical trees that grow all year have faint growth rings or none at all.
Most trees in areas that experience distinctive seasons grow most rapidly during spring. Deciduous trees have leaves that are shed each year. Coniferous trees have needles or scales that are usually shed every few years. The growth of deciduous trees stops when their leaves fall and resumes the following spring after new leaves appear. The growth of some (but not all) coniferous trees stops during winter and resumes in spring.
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