Sampling an Ancient Chinquapin Oak Forest on Mt. Kessler

Photos by Jacqueline Froelich
Dr. David Stahle, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arkansas, takes a core sample from a Chinkapin Oak on Mt. Kessler southwest of Fayetteville.
The hollow drill has a sharp bit on the tip, but it takes muscles to hand bore into the center of the tree.
The tree core sample is pushed out of the hollow drill tube using a metal stem..
The Chinkapin Oak core sample reveals growth patterns and climate information.
Wider stripes reveal an optimal growing climate while narrower bands indicate stress such as drought.
Dr. Stahle and grad student Allen Edmondson stand next to an ancient Chinkapin Oak growing sideways along a path through “Rock City.”