Section 4.1: What's in the Sampling Kit?
Identify the equipment needed for collecting both tree core and soil samples.
Understand why it is important to handle equipment with care and respect
What is in the TREE Kit?
The TREE kit is a tube (see Figure 1) mailed out by the CLS Education team that contains most of the equipment you will use for collecting the required samples. There are additional items you will need for sample collection, which we are unable to fit in the tube. When handling the equipment, it is important they are handled gently and with care and respect, as these tubes are mailed out across Canada to various teachers and students and cost us hundreds of dollars. If you notice any damage to the tube or any of the equipment, please notify the CLS Education Team right away at email@example.com.
Items Provided for Sampling in the kit:
Two canisters with labels
DBH (diameter at breast height) tape
A wooden tee
Gloves (for handling samples)
Additional Items Needed for Coring:
A permanent marker
Measuring tape (longer than 10 meters)
Additional Items Needed for Soil Sampling:
A permanent marker
Common measuring tape
Items Provided for Sampling
In the following pages you will find images and descriptions of each item provided for sampling. These items will come in the TREE kit you receive in the mail and are to be returned in the tube after you have collected your samples. Be sure to include the Sample Form, any pictures you took, and the timeline. Be sure to communicate with your CLS Education Team member if you need more time with sample collection.
When you unscrew the lid of the tube (can be twisted from either end) and remove the content, one item you will find is a clinometer in a black case (shown in Figure 2). The clinometer is used to measure the height of the tree.
You will also find an increment borer in your kit (shown in Figure 3). It is made up of three parts: the spoon (silver metal piece; pulls the sample out of the tree), the borer (black metal piece; screws into the tree), and the blue metal handle (contains latch to assemble borer and you twist this piece to collect sample). You will use this equipment when you are coring or extracting the core from the tree.
You will also find two canisters with labels, which you will use to collect soil samples when you dig a soil pit. As well, there will be a wooden tee. The tee is provided in case a sample is caught in the borer (black piece). It is a safe way to remove the sample without damaging the threads of the borer. See the TREE package video for further information: http://bit.ly/TREE_Package. You can find the French version here: http://bit.ly/TREE_PackageFrench.
Next is the diameter at breast height (DBH) tape. You will find this with the clinometer. There are two sides to the tape. The metre side is a regular measuring tape (in cm) and measures the circumference of the tree. The metre diameter side is also in cm. This side has been divided by the number pi (3.14159), so that by wrapping this side around the tree, you get the diameter of the tree (as shown in Figure 5).
Four straws are included in the kit (Figure 6). These straws are where the core from the increment borer will be stored. Keep the straws in the wrapper until you are ready for sampling. After you have taken the sample, use masking tape to seal the straws. You should only need two but four have been provided just in case..
You will also find a bag of gloves (4 pairs are included: 1 large, 2 medium, 1 small). Gloves are to be worn by those handling or touching the samples. If you need more gloves, any type will do provided they have not been used before. Wearing gloves helps prevent contamination of the samples.
You will also find our Sampling Guide, which is a condensed version of our sampling instructions and provides all the content you need to collect samples and complete the timeline. This sampling booklet is returned with the kit. You will also find a sample form and should have received a specific code from your CLS Education correspondent. Be sure the code is filled out on the sample form! For instructions on how to fill in the form, see our resources.
When repackaging the materials, open the tube from either side (twist to remove lid) and put the black case containing clinometer and DBH tape in the black tube first. Use the bubble wrap, instruction booklet, the timeline, and sample forms to wrap up your tree core samples to help protect them while shipping. Place the increment borer in as well and top it off with the other items. A return label is also provided in the TREE Kit and you will use this with the courier to help return the samples to the Canadian Light Source. See our Packing Sheet for more info on returning the kit.
Additional Items Needed for Sampling
There are items that will not be sent in the TREE kit but will be needed for tree core sample collection. Be sure you have collected these items BEFORE you go collect samples (see Figure 8).
Extra items you need for coring a tree and collecting soil samples are:
A permanent marker: to label samples and canisters
Masking tape: to label samples and canisters
Measuring tape longer than 10 meters: used to help calculate the height of the tree
Regular tape measure: to measure the depths of the soil pit
Camera to take pictures of your process and specifically, the core before it goes in the straw
To dig the soil pit, you will need at least one spade (but the more the merrier!). We suggest using a hand trowel (see Figure 9) to move the soil sample into the canister.
Lastly, you will need a tarp to set the dirt on so it is easier to fill the soil pit back up when you are done, as shown below.