Time Recorded in a Tree


So, How old WAS this tree? Let’s see if we can find out…


I used a very light stain to get the rings to show up. Dark stain covered everything. 😦



NOTE: In processing this photo…The arrows would shift. Please consider the dates as rough estimations…

This cut was made about 20 feet (6m) above the ground, so the the tree was actually OLDER than what we get. I started at 2013 and started counting to the left. The dark band that begins just to the left of the 2003 mark shows when hard times finally took a toll on the tree. There are actually 10 rings from the 2003 arrow to the bark on the right….Very little growth.

The yellow sun marks the time of the drought in 1988. Notice the rings are very narrow? (Click on picture to enlarge.)

The white hexagon would be around the the blizzard of 1978. Lots of water so lots of growth which would create wider rings.

Note the very wide rings at the storm cloud. History shows there was major flooding in 1959. The resulting ice flow in the Maumee river almost took out the local Damascus bridge.

Conclusion: This tree most likely was over 100 years old when it finally hit the ground. Again, it was doomed and needed to be taken down….but still….it was a witness to over a century of change.


About Mike

Retired science teacher that is learning to blog...

2 thoughts on “Time Recorded in a Tree

  1. songbirdrw says:

    was it tough counting the rings? It was a grand old tree. I gathered some sycamore seeds last year and got a few to sprout, but managed to let the poor things dry out. 😦 they are beautiful trees.

  2. Mike says:

    Actually, the light stain made it pretty easy. The chain saw must have been sharp and Lee Groll knew what he was doing…I had more of a problem getting the red arrows to stay on the right spot in the .jpg. Sycamore trees are pretty hardy and “fast” growing…This one just had to quit.

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