Development of annual growth rings in trees


Olga Turkovskaya

Annual growth rings are the circular rings found at the ending of a log or tree stump. Each set of rings denotes one year of growth. Each year of growth has two clear-cut growing seasons: spring and summer. In the spring, trees exploit all the dampness in the soil and conduct large capacities of sap. This wood development is called early wood. These cells are large in diameter and have fine cell walls. They are extremely light in colour. Open pores of early wood can be seen with the unaided eye. Before the tree is cut, these pores are filled with moisture. Less moisture in the late spring thickens the cell walls and causes less moisture movement through the tree. Summer growth is called latewood. Latewood cells are smaller in diameter across and have thick cell walls. They are dark in colour. Latewood cells likewise have pores where dampness is stored.

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