Friday, November 23, 2012

Deceptive Age of a Tree

The stumps from a couple oak trees pushed over by Hurricane Fran have remained to ornament Nassau Street, like mortars from the Civil War.
Counting the rings of one, I was surprised to find that, though 3 feet wide at the base, it was only 40 years old.

Translated to the trees we encounter in Princeton's open space, it goes to show how young a mature-looking forest may be, and how some of the woods that feel like they've always been there may in fact have been pastures or farm fields not too many decades back.

In contrast, other woods in Princeton may harbor trees 180 years old, like this slice of an ash on exhibit at the Frist Center on the Princeton University campus. It was sacrificed as part of the stream restoration next to Washington Rd at the university.

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