The DendroLab at Wageningen University & Research was established in 2005 and undertake research on Dendrochronology - or tree-ring research - and Quantitative Wood Anatomy.

Tweeting Trees

During the summer of 2017, the DendroLab led by Ute Sass-Klaassen at Wageningen University & Research, connected a poplar tree to a sap-flow sensor and dendrometer to measure the tree's sap flow and stem movement. This sensor data was directly tweeted out through the tree's Twitter account that subsequently gained over 4000 followers.

The image below shows a graph of the tree's sensor data where the day and night cycles of sap flow and growth can be observed.

WUR tree sensor data of sap flow and growth during the summer of 2017
The Twitter tree sensor data of sap flow and growth during the summer of 2017. Image source: Ute Sass-Klaassen and Jonas von der Crone, DendroLab, Wageningen University and Research [image]. Retrieved May 31, 2022 from https://www.wur.nl/en/Research-Results/Chair-groups/Environmental-Sciences/Forest-Ecology-and-Forest-Management-Group/DendroLab/News/Show/Twittering-tree-Wageningen-is-a-sprinter.htm

Tree-Ring Databases

Fields such as archaeology and historical sciences rely on tree-ring research to date artefacts that contain wood. For example, comparing tree-ring data enables researchers to identify timelines of buildings, shipwrecks, or wood panel paintings, by dating the trees that were used in the wood. Dendrochronology is also applied in environmental sciences to investigate when and where climate events such as fire, pollution, and flooding took place or to identify long-term geomorphic changes. (see DendroLab).

In order to rely on collective tree-ring timelines, dendrochronologists have created online, open-access, databases where tree-ring archives are stored digitally (e.g. the International Tree-Ring Data Bank, ITRDB).

Screenshot of the DendroLab website
Screenshot of the DendroLab research webpage at Wageningen University & Research. Image source: WUR, DendroLab Research website [screenshot]. Retrieved May 31, 2022 from https://www.wur.nl/en/Research-Results/Chair-groups/Environmental-Sciences/Forest-Ecology-and-Forest-Management-Group/DendroLab/Research.htm

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