Most measurements in dendrochronology have been of some aspect of a complete tree ring, for example the width of the ring or the maximum density of the wood within it. But increasingly researchers are turning to measurements at a much higher level of detail, looking at the sizes of features in wood cells within the rings. A tree can form rings that are superficially similar (about the same size), but the cellular structures within them can record important differences in environmental conditions. Although a tree forms a ring over the course of the growing season, the cells that build up the ring will grow and mature on a much shorter timescale, potentially recording variations in weather and other environmental factors that could not be deduced from the ring as a whole.
A team of international experts on measuring structures at the cellular level within tree rings is teaching a short course at the LTRR from March 13 to 17 2017. Georg von Arx from Switzerland developed image analysis software (ROXAS) for semi-automated measurement of cell parameters. Alan Crivellaro, Angela Luisa Prendin and Marco Carrer are from a group at University of Padova in Italy that has published extensively on the applications of cell measurements in dendrochronolgy. Local hosts, Kiyomi Morino and Tomasz Wazny, have conducted research in xylogenesis and wood anatomy, respectively.
The course takes the form of an intensive practical workshop, so with the limitations on lab space and equipment only 20 places are available. However it is open to anyone who can pay the registration fees: for more details see the course web page.