Section 4.1: What's in the Sampling Kit?

Outcomes

Students will:

  • Identify the equipment needed for collecting both tree core and soil samples.

  • Understand why it is important to handle equipment with care and respect

Key Terms

Borer / Clinometer / Coring / Diameter at Breast / Height / Hand Trowel / Increment Borer / Metal Handle / Sample / Spoon / Tube / Wooden Tee

See content or Module Glossary for definitions

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 education@lightsource.ca.

Items Provided for Sampling in the kit:

  • Clinometer

  • Increment borer

  • Two canisters with labels

  • DBH (diameter at breast height) tape

  • A wooden tee

  • Two straws

  • Gloves (for handling samples)

  • Module Booklet

  • Sample Form

Additional Items Needed for Coring:

  • A sharpie

  • Masking tape

  • Measuring tape (longer than 10 meters)

Additional Items Needed for Soil Sampling:

  • A sharpie

  • Masking tape

  • Common measuring tape

  • Spade(s)

  • Hand trowel

  • A tarp


Figure 1 shows the package tube containing some of the necessary equipment for sample collection.
Figure 1 shows the package tube containing some of the necessary equipment for sample collection.

***If you need a copy of the Sample Form, access one here: https://bit.ly/3v6SpUO. Remember you need your specific TREE code and this MUST be sent back to the Research Team***


The following link is the video for the items included in the TREE Package and what they are used for: http://bit.ly/TREE_Package.

You can find the French version at this link: http://bit.ly/TREE_PackageFrench.

You will also find all the videos for the TREE program here: http://bit.ly/TREE_page.

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 to the CLS Education team if you need more time with sample collection.

When you unscrew the lid of the tube and remove the contents (carefully), one item you will find is a clinometer. The clinometer is used to measure the height of the tree.

Figure 2 shows the Clinometer, the device used to measure the inclination angle to the top of the tree.
Figure 2 shows the Clinometer, the device used to measure the inclination angle to the top 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.

Figure 3 shows the increment borer, the device used to collect the tree core sample. *Be gentle when assembling and disassembling the increment borer to keep the tool in best possible condition as these corers are worth $250-300.

You will also find two canisters, 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.

Figure 4 shows the soil sample canisters. Two canisters are provided, one for each soil horizon and the wooden tee which is meant to clear the increment borer's tip of debris.
Figure 4 shows the soil sample canisters. Two canisters are provided, one for each soil horizon and the wooden tee which is meant to clear the increment borer's tip of debris.

Next is the diameter at breast height (DBH) tape. 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).

Figure 5 shows the DBH tape. There are two sides to this measuring tape. The image on the right shows the metre diameter side being used.
Figure 5 shows the DBH tape. There are two sides to this measuring tape. The image on the right shows the metre diameter side being used.

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..

Figure 6 shows the straws that will be used to house the tree cores. Do not open them until you have a core sample ready.
Figure 6 shows the straws that will be used to house the tree cores. Do not open them until you have a core sample ready.

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 a booklet of the modules. This booklet is to be returned with the kit. To get digital copies of the modules, check out the Module landing page for each. 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.

Sample Form Resources

Check out the TREE Sample Form Instructions and the corresponding video: http://bit.ly/TREE_Form

Note that our Sample Form has been updated since the video was created.

When repackaging the materials, start by putting the increment borer in first, as it is the heaviest. Add the other items, with the clinometer being last. Be gentle with the tree core samples (use bubble wrap to help protect them and make sure they are sealed!). Make sure everything is inside and then secure the package. A return label should also be provided in the TREE kit and you will use this with the courier to help return the samples to the Canadian Light Source.

Figure 7 shows the repackaged package, ready to return to the labs.
Figure 7 shows the repackaged package, ready to return to the labs.

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 sharpie (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; optional)

  • Camera to take pictures of your process and specifically, the core before it goes in the straw

Figure 8 shows the additional equipment that is necessary to collect the tree core samples and to measure the tree.
Figure 8 shows the additional equipment that is necessary to collect the tree core samples and to measure the tree.

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.

Figure 9 shows most of the additional equipment needed to collect soil samples. The image on the right is a hand trowel.
Figure 9 shows most of the additional equipment needed to collect soil samples. The image on the right is a hand trowel.

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.

Figure 10 shows a tarp, the final piece of equipment that will be needed to collect the soil samples.
Figure 10 shows a tarp, the final piece of equipment that will be needed to collect the soil samples.