The Great Christmas Tree Challenge
** Click on the Picture for The Great Christmas Tree Challenge data collection form **
We here in the Environmental Studies program were curious how old the typical Christmas Tree is in Bristol Bay and how well the tree grew. We came up with this challenge as a way to encourage students and local residents to help us find out, as well as a good chance to learn how to collect scientific data and be part of a citizen science project.
The challenge to students is this: Before cutting down your Christmas Tree this year, take a few measurements including the height of the tree , the growing conditions (in deep forest, on the edge of forest, northern view, southern view, etc...), take a picture of the tree before cutting it down (if possible) and measure from the ground to the height where the tree will be cut down.
After cutting the tree down cut a one inch slice off the bottom of the tree trunk, and count the rings to find the age of the tree .
*If you already have your tree up at your house, it's okay, you can still participate by cutting off a slice when you take the tree down. Try your best to remember where you cut the tree down and what it's growing conditions were like.
Our experience with counting tree rings is that the slice has to be well sanded to get an accurate reading, if you want to do that at your home that is wonderful, if you don't have the time we would appreciate it if you could collect the slices attach your name and the trees growing conditions and send them to us to analyze.
Tree slices can be sent to Adam Kane, UAF Bristol Bay Campus - PO BOX 1070, Dillingham AK 99576. Use the data collection form to help remember what information is most needed. We will compile all the information we can gather and compare data with others around the region.
Please share this with anyone that might be interested in participating. If you have any questions or comments please contact Adam Kane at (907) 842-5109 or 1-800-478-5109. Thanks for the help and happy holidays!