From the beginning of history, we have relied on trees of various types to meet our needs. Much can be learned about a species of tree and its environment by discovering its age, and researchers employ several methods to date trees. The most common, most accurate way to find the age of a tree is to count the number of rings visible when their trunk is cut horizontally. Each year, most trees add an extra layer of growth to their trunks. Over time, their trunks get thicker and thicker.
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Today's project is going to allow your child to be a nature detective -- and all you need is an old stump for this one! So when we're talking about the idea of counting tree rings and dating a tree, we should use the correct scientific term for it. Den-dro-chronology is the scienfic process of using tree rings or growth rings to understand what happened in the environment during the life cycle of a tree. If you're ever come across a tree stump, you'll quickly see that there are a number of circles beginning with smaller ones near the center of the tree and expanding into larger circles towards the bark. These are referred to as tree rings.
But to understand what the trees tell us, we first have to understand the difference between weather and climate. Weather is a specific event—like a rain storm or hot day—that happens over a short period of time. Weather can be tracked within hours or days.