Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Wisdom in Age

It is possible to learn about history looking at the rings of a tree. The study of these rings is known as dendrochronology. It is actually possible to understand large scale climate changes with this method. I find this fascinating. Because the bristlecone pine lives for over 4,000 years and the dead trunks survive much longer, dendrochronologists have earth climate data spanning 9,000 years.

We had a small amount of thinning done for fire safety and the 8 - 10 inch diameter trees were over 70 years old. The light layers reflect spring growth, The dark layers, summer growth. The dark rings are what are counted to determine age. The wider rings show more water and cooler temperatures. We will put the trees we cut to use around the ranch, stripped of bark, as poles. Some of the small chunks will be seeded with mushroom spores as we move towards a permaculture view of the forest providing food.

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