Aspen Bibliography


Basic tree-ring sample preparation techniques for aging aspen

Document Type

Contribution to Book


Sustaining aspen in western landscapes: symposium proceedings


W.D. Shepperd, D. Binkley, D.L. Bartos, T.J. Stohlgren, L.G. Eskew


U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, RMRS-P-18

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Aspen is notoriously difficult to age because of its light-colored wood and faint annual growth rings. Careful preparation and processing of aspen ring samples can overcome these problems, yield accurate age and growth estimates, and concisely date disturbance events present in the tree-ring record. Proper collection of aspen wood is essential in obtaining usable ring data. Mounting of increment cores and sawn disk samples to wood backings holds samples rigid for easy surfacing. Sequential use of planers, belt sanders, and an assortment of sanding material on the surface of aspen core and disk samples can enhance visibility of tree rings. Application of stain on samples will color the late wood a dark brown and enhance the rings’ visibility.