What is TREE ?                                                                         

The Trans-Canadian Research and Environmental Education (TREE) project is a citizen science program connecting students to scientific research on trembling aspen trees, happening at the Mistik Askîwin Dendrochronology Laboratory (MAD Lab) and the Canadian Light Source (CLS). You can learn more about each organization on the Who We Are page or checking out the TREE Overview document for full details. 

From a scientific perspective with TREE, trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) are a species of tree that is abundant throughout most of Canada. They also tolerate, even thrive, with much higher levels of toxins in their soil than most other species of trees and can potentially be used to remediate contaminated sites. The MAD Lab, in collaboration with the CLS IDEAS Beamline Scientist, is interested in researching:

To validate the technique and conduct such research, a large number of samples with historical information from a large geographic area is required to investigate these questions.


Check out a quick behind the scenes glimpse on how TREE samples have been processed.

From an educational perspective, learning about the life and nutrient cycles of trees, nutrients in soil, and tracking effects on trees over time provides a wealth of opportunity for student education. The TREE program connects with curriculum across several subject areas and grade levels. It provides an interdisciplinary learning experience for students as they investigate:

Teachers crowding around Dr. Colin Laroque at MAD Lab, learning about how tree cores are mounted to holders to collect dendrochronology data.


Phone: (306) 966-1298 

Email: colin.laroque@usask.ca 

CLS Education Team

Phone: (306) 657-3525 

Email: education@lightsource.ca