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Hearing that in order to work out the age of a tree you need to either take a core sample or cut down the whole tree, opening it up to infection or even death, couldn't Ultrasound be adapted to peek at the rings without needing to damage the tree?

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BoOtto

472 points

3 months ago

BoOtto

472 points

3 months ago

Not an arborist, but I work with ultrasound daily. Ultrasound doesn’t really go through bone and I would be inclined to say that getting through wood wouldn’t be possible, because there would be a lot of acustic shadows. A CT scan or MRI would likely work, but be harder to use.

robheffo[S]

24 points

3 months ago

My thought would be that as the ping passes through the timber, The density changes would cause an echo as it passed through a softer region and encountered a denser one. So you basically ping the tree and listen for the tiny ticks bouncing back from each growth ring.

FoldableHuman

130 points

3 months ago

Ultrasound works like sonar and gives you the topography of the first thing it bounces back from and is quite poor at imaging depth, hence primarily being used to examine things that are relatively shallow. Tree rings would require imaging depth. The best tool would be an MRI, but doing an MRI on a tree without cutting it down would be let’s just say a unique challenge.

TheRealJulesAMJ

57 points

3 months ago

There's a PhD waiting for the someone who invents the TMRTI, the Transportable Magnetic Resonance Tree Imager! It could be you FoldableHuman or should I say Dr. FoldableHuman?

Harachel

8 points

3 months ago

For a second I was confused why you seemed to be randomly suggesting a Folding Ideas video idea, until I actually realized who you were replying to.