CLC is going down on one knee today with this post…
Do you know what you are looking at in the picture above? Get down on your own knees and look a little closer. That my friends is the rings of an ash tree. If I pull back the camera a bit, you might even be able to count the rings and tell me how old this tree was when it was cut down last week during CLC’s Day of Service at Family Services Thames Valley.
What do you think? Can you guess the age of this tree? If you aren’t an expert on dendrochronology, I will help you out. This big, old ash tree was around 70 years old when it was cut down. If you start from the exterior bark of this section and count in on the dark rings, you will get a pretty accurate answer. The closer you get to the centre of the tree, the harder it is to count the rings though. Growth in a tree’s first few years is so rapid, that the rings become almost impossible to differentiate. It is therefore a good idea to add about five years to your count when making your tally.
And one other hint when you are counting those rings. If you come across a ring that is difficult to read, or too close to another ring in one spot, slide your finger along the ring until you get to a more obvious section of the trunk. It won’t make any difference to your count, and just might save your eyes some strain. Just a suggestion.
If you are wondering why we had to cut down this majestic tree, the answer is an all too common one in Southwestern Ontario nowadays. This tree was a victim of the emerald ash borer. If left, it would have become brittle and died, posing a risk to any of the surrounding buildings and people. While there are ways to combat the emerald ash borer, this tree was sadly not a candidate for treatment and had to come down. An unhappy day for the tree, but one less worry for the folks at FSTV, who would rather counsel those in need, than count the costs of a tree stuck in a neighbour’s roof.
So NO, we won’t be selling you these stumps for firewood anytime soon. But if you do need some for the upcoming camping season, give us a call as we have lots of other perfectly burnable firewood on hand that will keep you cozy around the campfire this coming summer.