What Stories Do TREES Tell Us?

Welcome to the Trans-Canadian Research and Environmental Education (TREE) program! A citizen science program where students from across Canada join with researchers to learn about the stories trembling aspen trees tell and how a synchrotron can be a tool to tell that story. Join us as we explore this new area in research and learn about environments across Canada!

The TREE program connects to science research done in partnership between the Mistik Askîwin Dendrochronology (MAD) Laboratory and the Canadian Light Source (CLS), both on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. We acknowledge that the campus is located on Treaty Six land in the traditional territories of the Nêhiyawak (Cree), Anishinabek, Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Nations, and the homeland of the Métis. As educators, we respect Indigenous Ways of Knowing and oral traditions. We dedicate ourselves to moving forward in the spirit of partnership, reconciliation, and collaboration.

See our growing database of TREE research below!

How to Participate

There are four easy steps to contribute to this national research project:

  1. Help your students discover the environmental history of the area where your sample tree grows by constructing a timeline

  2. Register with us to schedule delivery of equipment

  3. Collect at least 2 trembling aspen tree cores with associated soil samples (according to instructions)

  4. Send your timeline, the samples, and the equipment kit, back to us!

There is no cost! The TREE program is offered with the generous support of PromoScience (a program of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada). Interested in learning more? Want to extend with connections to curriculum? Check out the sections below or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more useful info.

Science Research Project

  • Join our Research Team as they study tree growth and the connection to chemical composition in tree cores and soil.

  • Why trembling aspen? MAD Lab is interested in learning how trembling aspen adapt to various Canadian environments.

  • Why a synchrotron? This is a new area of research for dendrochronology and with your help, we can help expand the science!

Contribute to Research

  • How? Collect trembling aspen and soil samples. Check out Module 4 for instructions and what is in our TREE kits!

  • A timeline must also be provided. Connect with Module 2 to learn what historical data is needed for the research.

  • Interested? Complete our Registration Form and book a kit today! Registration is open all year. Check out our calendar to see when TREE kits are booked.

Connecting to Classes

  • View downloadable teaching resources and lessons plans, easily adapted to suit Gr. 6-12 STEM, Indigenous perspectives, & land-based courses. Choose what to connect to!

  • Our curricular connections page shows an example of connections using Grade 8 curricula across Canada.

  • Check out our instructional videos as well!


MAD Lab

Phone: (306) 966-1298

Email: colin.laroque@usask.ca

CLS Education Team

Phone: (306) 657-3525

Email: education@lightsource.ca