The rings inside a tree can tell us a lot about what environmental conditions a tree has lived through. By looking at tree rings, we can learn about how long the tree has lived, what kinds of climate conditions it has lived through and how much it has grown throughout the different seasons. We can also find out many other secrets (see resource coming soon). Trees can live for hundreds, and in some cases, even thousands of years.
We can count the number of rings a tree has to find out how old it is. There are two different types of rings caused by differences of sizes of the cells and the thickness of their walls. A light-coloured ring is formed by large cells with thin walls and shows how much a tree has grown during the spring and early summer. The light rings are usually much thicker than the dark rings. The dark rings are made by smaller cells with thick walls and show how much the tree grew at the end of summer and in autumn when tree growth becomes slower. Each annual ring consists of a light- and a dark-ring.
Try making your own tree rings so you can understand how to read the patterns in wood.