This day we went back to Landschaftspark and did some fun field work with the birch trees.
On the way to the sites, we stopped by a garden that displayed different uses in railroad ties and tracks. It was really interesting to see how a garden could be made from a post-industrial site on a smaller scale. Rather than letting fourth nature just happen, they actually took some of the gravel from a train track and used it as a base for mosses and ferns to grow on. Over time, this gravel will turn into a beautiful moss garden with other new plats that have adapted to live on these rocks in the shade.
We then walked into a very large open meadow/prairie/field that had a large rustic pipe running through it lifted in the air. This pipe we were able to see running through the whole town from the tower in Landschaftspark. Frank then taught us how to “age a tree” using a special pipe-like tool. This tool you drill into the bark of the tree on a slight angle so moisture doesn’t settle inside the tree and cause disease or rot. You then twist the tool and push in a needle-like object into the hole you just drilled. Twist the tool again to loosen it and then pull out the needle and you will get a small cigarette-like piece of the inside of the tree. From this piece you can see the markings of the rings of the tree and where the center of the tree is. We used this small piece of wood to count the rings and age the tree. Other information we gathered were the height, coordinates and the diameters of the trunks.
We all divided into groups of 3 people and went on opposite ends of this birch area. Each group had 2 sites to gather information from. In each site we found 5 trees (the center, north, east, west, and south) and this is the information we gathered for each site. Within each site we only took 1 age from a tree and approximated it to be the same for the other trees around it.