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THE CEDAR TREE
Since our lodge is named after the mighty cedar tree we thought it would be fun to learn a little bit more about trees! Here’s a little nature lesson!
Rings of a Tree
If you explored the inside of a tree you would find many, many rings. Each ring represents a year in the life of a tree. Generally each spring and summer a tree adds new layers of wood to its trunk.
The wood formed in spring grows fast, and is lighter because it consists of large cells. In summer, growth is slower so the wood has smaller cells and is darker. When the tree is cut it results in the layers appearing as alternating rings of light and dark wood.
To get an accurate age of the tree, count the dark rings. Study the rings, and you can learn much more. Many things affect the way the tree grows, and thus alter the shape, thickness, color and uniformity of the rings.
Anatomy of a Tree — The Inside Story
The outer bark is the tree's protection from the outside world. Continually renewed from within, it helps keep out moisture in the rain, and prevents the tree from losing moisture when the air is dry. It insulates against cold and heat and wards off insect enemies.
The inner bark, or "phloem", is a pipeline through which food is passed to the rest of the tree. It lives for only a short time, then dies and turns to cork to become part of the protective outer bark.
The cambium cell layer is the growing part of the trunk. It annually produces new bark and new wood in response to hormones that pass down through the phloem with food from the leaves. These hormones, called "auxins", stimulate growth in cells. Auxins are produced by leaf buds at the ends of branches as soon as they start growing in spring.
Sapwood is the tree's pipeline for water moving up to the leaves. Sapwood is new wood. As newer rings of sapwood are laid down, inner cells lose their vitality and turn to heartwood.
Heartwood is the central, supporting pillar of the tree. Although dead, it will not decay or lose strength while the outer layers are intact. A composite of hollow, needlelike cellulose fibers bound together by a chemical glue called lignin, it is in many ways as strong as steel. A piece 12" long and 1" by 2" in cross section set vertically can support a weight of twenty tons!
Click here for an exciting lesson on trees!
Information from http://www.arborday.org/kids/carly/lifeofatree/ - Arbor Day Foundation
Arbor Day Foundation