Tree Cross Section

Part of Hall of Planet Earth.

Cross-section of tree with visible rings from Hall of Planet Earth AMNH/D. Finnin

Eastern Kentucky, USA | 1722-2005

This cross-section of a chestnut oak (Quercus montana) from eastern Kentucky is a 283-year chronicle of local climate. Thick rings mark rapid growth during favorable conditions; narrow rings indicate periods of stress, like extreme temperature or drought.

Courtesy of Dr. Neil Pederson, Harvard University, and Robert Watts, Eastern Kentucky University.