CSU, Chico News

Tree Cross Section and Dendrochronology Workshop

Date: 12-05-2012

Robert Larkin
Gateway Science Museum
Joe Wills
Public Affairs

Witness the unveiling of a natural specimen from Chico’s past…

Beginning at 12:15 p.m. on Dec. 8, the Gateway Science Museum will reveal a 4-foot-diameter tree cross section from a 115-year-old valley oak that grew in what is now the front lawn of Bidwell Mansion. From this cross section, viewers can read the story of the tree’s life – from when it put on its first annual growth ring in 1893 to when it fell in 2008.

As part of a new permanent interactive exhibit in the James W. Cornyn Valley Gallery, this artifact features an in-depth look at the science of dendrochronology. Dendrochronology ("dendros": trees + "chronos": time + "ology": study of) is the science of dating and studying the annual growth rings in trees for the information they hold. Using a special hands-on model of our cross section, visitors can practice dendrochronology while exploring this amazing specimen in full detail. Investigate the life and growing conditions of the tree, and try your hand at matching different periods of growth with important dates in history.

Stick around from 1 to 3 p.m. for a dendrochronology workshop led by members of the National Science Teachers Association club at California State University, Chico and featuring the expertise of accomplished local arborist Scott Gregory. This event features tree ring analysis, core sampling activities and souvenir holiday ornaments made by the “roto-bike.”

Gateway Science Museum is open Wednesday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m.

Museum admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children 3-17 and students, and free to members.

For more information, call 530-898-4121 or visit www.gatewayscience.org.