Dr-Universe-230PUYALLUP, Wash. – While walking in the woods with my friend Gary Chastagner, we stumbled upon some old tree stumps. The stumps had so many rings we had to use our magnifying glasses to see them all.

“It’s a timeline,” said Chastagner, examining the stump. I thought it might make a nice scratch post, too.

“There is usually a single ring added each year because of the transition between the growth of the previous year and the new growth,” he said.

Chastagner is a scientist at Washington State University and helps plants, particularly Christmas trees, stay healthy.

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