ROTFL! The first time I was in Paris, and I was using the commode, not
the "B" just to be clear, I flushed the commode, and the room I was in
was on the 5th floor, the water literally leapt out through the seat.
Not a pleasant experience.
The US FPL Wood Handbook --
See chap 3 for botany lessons. Short version is, in temperate climates
such as most of the US, there is an annual growth and dormant season and
so the growth rings can be associated with that yearly cycle. How
prevalent they are is basically determined by the variety of the tree
itself, spacing is related to environmental and local conditions. But
it makes note that this is a temperate-zone characteristic and so to
refer them as "annual rings" isn't necessarily accurate; use the term
"growth rings" or "growth increment" instead.
OTOH, in many tropical woods it's essentially impossible to visually
detect growth rings altho I note in the 2010 edition it includes the
following: "... continuing research in this area has uncovered several
characteristics whereby growth rings can be correlated with seasonality
changes in some tropical species (Worbes 1995, 1999; Callado and others
Shorter version is R. B. Hoadley's Understanding Wood, Taunton
Press...although I don't believe it's been revised; there's certainly
little to fault for a US audience and domestic woods on the subject
albeit it's not a botany textbook, either (nor, of course, is the
Handbook, but it is in more depth than Hoadley).
First sentence 2nd paragraph is garbled -- I changed horses in
midsentence on what was planning on writing and didn't get all the first
outta' there that shoulda' been --
What was intended to say was impossible had to to with associating
growth rings with a necessarily annual cycle in tropical regions, not
that the growth increments are not visible.
These pages are full of errors, and a good deal of it is written by
those with narrow visions who think that what they see here in the US
applies globally. They have pulled in some historic notes in order to
add weight to their arguments, but they failed and the pages reflect
it by asking for confirmations, etc.
See my reply to Leon, where it is easy to see that it is the growth
season or lack of it that gives the rings. Sometimes multiple rings
from one year to the next.
I have seen mentions of this in some of our national parks.
Disclaimer on this page, "In general tree's have one growth ring per
it is not that simple
some can be decades and longer
as always it depends on many factors
dendrochronology is the study of the rings
there are photos of giant sequoia cross sections marked with historic
events that are fun to see
An individual growth increment? I'm certainly not aware of anything
that shows such a pattern. Reference????
Spacing, yes. Actual ring structure itself is simply a characteristic
of the individual species. Now, yes, while there are lots of species,
there are a (relatively few) characteristics into which individual trees
Or perhaps are you simply referring to a period of time such as a
prolonged drought or the like that can bring a period of growth to near
standstill for as long as the particular event lasts and sometimes for
sometime thereafter before the specimen really fully recovers (presuming
it survives and does do so eventually, of course)?
That sort of thing certainly happens for any number of reasons, weather
patterns being the most notable for a given specimen. Over a longer
period of time over a number of generations one may see other more
longer-term trends although one may have to have some additional help in
that the forest was uprooted in a devastating event such a a flood,
buried in an anerobic environment and became fossilized or otherwise
preserved in order for us to find rings to count and ponder over their
meaning...a few thousand years for individual trees is their lifetime, a
mere blink of the eye in geologic time.
The bristlecone pine is, afaik, the longest-lived single tree, reaching
into the 5-6,000 yr neighborhood. The giant sequoias are mere
youngsters in comparison in the 3-4,000 range.
What's really unusual is that the Pando quaking aspen grove is the
oldest overall by a wide margin (80,000 to to perhaps as much as
1,000,000 by some estimates) but it's not the part you see; it (they? :)
) is a clonal colony of a single male quaking aspen. Individual stems
are more like only 100-130 years in age but they come up from the
underground root system, not by flowering/seed production. The whole
grove of some 100 acres and 40-50,000 "stems" are identical clones
There are tree's like that in La Jolla, Calif. To the naked eye people
mistake them for scrub pine due to their small stature, but some wise
person recognized them for what they are not too awful long ago, and
now they are protected. The only spot, I think, in NA
Not the ones I was thinking of in Torrey Pines, Calif.
Now I know I read some articles about the find and as I recall the
small tree, which was like a natural Japanese trained stunted tree,
that grew from ancient root systems not seeds.
Can't seem to find any info on it at the moment. grrrrr.
look at the sequoias
there are some great pics around with markings of historic events
over the life of the tree
the sequoias are special for sure and the annual ring does not apply
as yo noted it is the growth ring and it can span decades
trees are incredible
the blue gum and sequoias are more so due to their size
A _given_ growth ring for a sequoia (or any other tree in the temperate
climatic zone) will absolutely _NOT_ span "decades". It'll be in accord
with the growing seasons which are, and have been for the life of these
trees, annual cycles.
It takes a place without these cycles for there to not be any
correlation; that ain't where the redwoods are.
In reality, _IN TEMPERATE ZONES_, the likelihood is that there may be an
additional ring or two now and then as OFWW notes may have occurred in
his region owing to an indication or dormancy and renewed growth again
more than once during the calendar year from an aberration from normal
weather patterns of sufficient magnitude and duration as to actually
cause the growth pattern to mimic another year. Similarly, particularly
in drier climates it's possible that a period of dormancy is caused by
drought that if relieved during the normal growing season may cause
another growth ring to be present that might otherwise not be.
It's also possible for there to have been an extended dormancy giving
rise to a missing ring for a given year; I'd posit that for such to have
been true for a period of decades is just not likely to be so albeit
there's a possibility that like in tropical regions the size of the ring
may be so small as to be essentially indetectable. I'd expect that few
specimens will survive such an instance if it were to have occurred at
which point it's pretty clear the next ring will span infinity.
Actual dating is done via statistical averaging of many samples and
normalized against alternative references to become absolute. There are
several established series internationally recognized that a given
specimen from an area can be compared against for such dating.
But, the possibility of a time span of "decades" between growth rings of
any of the common trees we in rec.woodworking would even know existed
and growing in NA or any similar temperate climate is essentially zero.
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