I need to tweak the schedule for lectures a little bit to make up for the time we lost 2 weeks ago. On Tuesday (October 23), we'll discuss the history of dendrochronology, so in preparation, I'd like you to review two papers from our reading list:
Shulman (1954), Longevity under adversity in conifers. Science 119, 396-399.
Pederson (2010), External characteristics of old trees in the Eastern Deciduous Forest. Natural Areas Journal 30, 396-407.
As luck would have it, Aeon Magazine just published a great story about the ancient bristlecone pines and their role in the development of dendrchronology. It's a really interesting read, so you should check that out too.
I won't forget the first time I saw one of these erect tree-corpses, leering at me like a scarecrow beside the snow-covered road. The tree's exposed wood had aged into rich tones of gold and copper, and it seemed to leap out of the rock like a petrified flame.