I have 2 California Bay Laurel trees ( or Oregon Myrtle… same tree different names) that volunteered in the back yard a few years back (about 2014 or maybe a bit earlier). They are roughly on a line from North East to South West. This means that the one NE gets a bit of morning sun (but that is partly blocked by a fence and a neighbors tall bush) then is shaded into the afternoon.
The result as been that the tree “up sun” is much larger while the one shaded is not so big. They will have the same number of growth rings as they arrived at the same time…
So IF you came back in 400 years and looked at the growth rings of the smaller one (assuming some catastrophe befell the larger, like me about to remove it…) and looked at the growth rings, it would look like the first decade of it’s life was “terribly cold” IF you presume the rings measure temperature. Yet they both have had the same rain, the same fertile soil, the same climate and weather. The only thing different is one shades the other.
In natural forests, there are always some trees shading others, and there are always old trees falling over and letting sun get to the struggling ones. On that grounds alone tree rings as an indicator of temperature are highly suspect.
Here’s a photo looking more or less into the morning sun, at about 9 AM. The 1/2 cinder block is there as a size reference.
So what does one tree in Yamal tell us? Not much…
The larger tree has now started putting limbs in front of the smaller one to capture even the morning sun. These trees can grow to about 80 cm trunk size and 30 M tall so eventually the faster tree will completely shade the smaller one, that is now runted and acting like a shrub in the shade.
As I don’t have room for 2 x 30 M trees (about 100 feet tall and 2.5 foot diameter trunks) I’ve decided they both need to be removed. When they first “volunteered” I didn’t know what they were, only later finding out. They have medicinal properties and a very interesting clove like fragrance, so I let them grow. Then spent a couple of years on contract in Florida and came back to “minor trees”… The bigger one is presently about 10 M / 30 feet tall and would likely add another 5 to 10 feet this summer if I let it grow. I’ve decided that, as much as I like the things this tree can provide in the way of medicinals and pest control, it’s gotta go. Otherwise I’ll have a “1 tree yard” and no garden to speak of.
The good news is that it has shaded out a big enough area that I’ll have some clear garden space again once it is down ;-)
After they are down, I’ll take close up photos of the stumps (hopefully the rings will be clear even with a Sven Saw cut) and add them here. That will be a few days (today was triage of the space, decisions, and pruning some other overgrowth.)