The Secrets of Tree Rings

Secrets of Tree Rings header image, photo Brett Jordan/Flikr
photo Brett Jordan/Flikr

The Secrets of Tree Rings
What Our Trees Can Tell Us About the History of our Environment

In honor of the Arboretum 's 60th anniversary and the very first Janet Sinner Endowed Horticultural Speaker Series

Saturday, May 5
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

$10 member/$25 non-member, includes Arboretum admission

Featured Presenters
Alan Branhagen

Alan Branhagen

Arboretum Director of Operations and published horticulture author
Brita Lorentzen 

Brita Lorentzen

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Cornell Tree Rings Laboratory
 tree ring section, credit NYS Historical Dendrochronology Project
photo NYS Historical Dendrochronology Project

Learn more about trees and time:
We first learn about tree rings as children- one ring for each year of growth- but who really pays attention to these rings and why do they matter? Join this fascinating lecture to learn what trees can tell us about the history of our environment!

holding a tree core sample_credit_Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History, University of Georgia
photo Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History, University of Georgia

Brita will discuss her work as a dendrochronologist (a scientist who dates environmental change and archeological artifacts through tree rings), and overview her fascinating work with trees from the Midwest to the Mediterranean.

You'll discover how tree rings can help scientists determine historic temperatures, rainfall, fire events, and even health of the ecosystem.

Prairie Oak Tree, credit Christoper Hall
photo Christopher Hall
Alan will share more about the ecological importance of trees, and highlight some of the historic trees at the Arboretum.
Snyder Auditorium Lecture You'll leave with a new appreciation for these gentle giants and what they've lived through, and a new understanding of how to help them continue to thrive. 


Limit 150, Snyder Building - Snyder Auditorium


Check out more classes & workshops All About Trees 


Classes Catalog

view Adult Classes Catalog Fall/Winter 2018
Request a hard copy in the mail
Email your request to with the subject "Mail Adult Catalog"


Arboretum Education Office Hours
          Mon - Fri, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
          Sat - Sun, noon - 4 p.m.
Email Arboretum Education at

Call Arboretum Education at

Member Perk!

Arboretum Members may invite non-members to attend a class with them at the discounted member rate! Simply register for all participants at the same time in the same order and select the "member" rate for each person at checkout.

Cancellation Policy

Prior to registering, please review the cancellation policy


The best chance of being enrolled in a sold out class is to add your name to the waitlist. Click the orange "waitlist" button and complete the steps, or call 612-301-1210. There is no obligation to register if a spot opens. If the waitlist shows enough demand, additional class sessions may be added.

Email Subscriptions

Subscribe here to opt-in to your choice of Arboretum Education email alerts. You'll only receive emails on the topics you select, so you can keep your inbox interesting and relevant to you! (Every email contains easy instructions for opting out at any time.)

Program Quick Links

          PlantMaker Studio
          Garden Fun Stops
          NaturePlay for Wee Ones

             1-Hour Tram Tour
          Guided Walking Tours

          Q&A at the Yard & Garden Desk

Youth+Adult Together Programs
          Ages 0-5 with adult
          Ages 3-5 with adult
          Ages 5-12 with adult
Summer Youth Programs
          Ages 5-10 Groups/Summer Field Trips
          Ages 5-13 Weekly Children's Garden
          Ages 5-7 Day Camps
          Ages 7-11 Day Camps

Gardening & Horticulture Classes
          Gardening - General
          Edible Gardening
          Fungi & Mushrooms
          Landscape & Design
          Science of Plant Propagation
          Botanical/Floral Design
          Pollinators - Misc
Fine Art & Crafts Classes
          Painting & Drawing
          Fiber Arts
          Mixed Media
          Stone Balancing & Ice Sculpture
Willow Furniture
          Seasonal & Holiday
          Open Art Studio
Photography Classes
Food & Wine Classes
          Dine with a Chef
          Saturday Cooking in the Kitchen
Home, Health & Beauty

          Home, Health & Beauty

          Book Club
          Willow Furniture
Seasonal & Holiday
Nature Appreciation

          Signature Guided Walks
          1-Hour Tram Tour
Nature-Based Therapeutics
          Animal-Assisted Interventions Trainings


Arboretum Staff

Share your feedback

Your opinions are important! 
The Arboretum strives to create classes that are relevant, useful and provide value. Use this form to share anonymous feedback about educational programming with the Arboretum Education Team.