Concept: Genealogy/Dendrochronology Overlay

In order to make the life of a tree more personal to people, we are working on a project to overlay a person’s Genealogy over tree rings from a long-lived tree. In the proof of concept below, two of our board members have traced their lineage back to kings of England. We have used a small section of this human history to overlay the number of years each person was alive over the number of rings on a redwood cross section.

We are working with folks from the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research in Arizona to complete a high-resolution composite of a cross section spanning more modern times, back 1,000 years or so. Once the cross section has been photographed, we will extend our proof of concept.

Overlay of a small section of two of our board members' lineage on Redwood cross section.
Overlay of a small section of two of our board members’ lineage on Redwood cross section.

In the future, we intend to work with educators to develop a web-based application that would allow people to input their genealogy, and have the timeline built for them over the surface of their choice of tree cross section. The ability for any person to see how many people in their own history have lived during the life of one tree will help to bring the scale of time into a more personal perspective.