Coring Trees

While our regular field work involving inventory and tracking of herbaceous plants has been over for a few months by December, a limited amount of data can still be gathered at this time of year. For example, the age of a tree can be determined by taking a thin core from it and then counting the rings. The general age of a particular patch of forest can often be estimated by taking cores from a representative sampling of the trees and then comparing the counts.

tree coring (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) 
NH Heritage chief ecologist Dan Sperduto cores
a tree in Franconia Notch State Park in December.

NH Heritage ecologists also core trees during the growing season. Below are several photos of tree cores being taken during summer and fall field inventories.

Coring a sugar maple at Cardigan Mtn. State Forest (photo by Pete Bowman for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau) Coring a small (but old) cedar tree on the side of Devils Slide cliff in Stark (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

NH Heritage ecologists examine a tree core taken on conservation land in Enfield, NH (photo by Ben Kimball for the NH Natural Heritage Bureau)

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