Nature and the Environment

Historical weather data

How old is a tree?

A lightning strike in May of 2003 knocked down a mature ponderosa pine. The tree was about 3' in diameter at the base. We carved off chunk to take home and saw into boards. I took a small piece and polished the end to make it easier to count the tree rings. Here's a picture; judge for yourself how long this tree took to grow.

The enlarged section, less than 1" in the radial direction contains about 75 annual rings. Even allowing for some of the more widely spaced rings elsewhere, this tree was clearly hundreds of years old. Sure, a forest in renewable, if you're willing to wait long enough.