Life after death: archiving wood from the living collections

Trees are removed from the Living Collections for various reasons, but just because a tree is no longer growing on the grounds, doesn’t mean we can’t still learn from it.

Morton Staff


Trees are removed from the Arboretum’s Living Collections for a variety of reasons.  Some trees are removed after damage from due to pest and pathogen outbreak, some die of natural causes, and some are removed to make room for new acquisitions or development.  However, there is still a lot that can be learned about a tree from it’s wood and rings, even after the tree itself has been removed from our grounds.  Starting in 2017, cross-sectional samples from trees removed from the Living Collections are being prepared and stored so they can be used to study a variety of topics including tree growth and climate sensitivity, quantitative wood anatomy, and isotopic analysis.

Funding Sources

The Morton Arboretum

Project Status