An opportunity to investigate the value of using tree rings to measure relatively long-term temperature trends almost fell into my lap a couple of weeks ago; a windstorm blew down my neighbour’s tree. It was about forty years old, seventy feet high and on the north side of my house. The trunk is around 30 inches across at the base and the tree rings were clearly visible. I measured its tree ring widths for the last twenty complete years (1997-2016), and correlated it with the maximum annual temperature in Ottawa (link) of those years. Fascinating!
The side yard at my house in Ottawa is not prime territory for a garden. It is very shaded, the soil is poor quality, and over the years it has been taken over by weeds, specifically the common blue violet. In short, it is the perfect site for a mini-project on Darwinism in action, or not.