About the Tree Banding Project

The Smithsonian Institution's Tree Banding Project, a citizen science program that contributes to research about tree biomass tracks how trees respond to climate. Citizen science programs involve students and teachers like you contributing to ongoing scientific work. Students around the globe will monitor the rate at which their local trees grow and learn how that rate corresponds to Smithsonian research as well as comparing their work to other students world-wide. Once involved, you will help to create the first global observatory of how trees respond to climate! As part of this program, you will be contributing vital information to an important ecological study.

Sign up today!


By signing up you will receive a kit that includes everything that you will need to get started. After you get your kit, your class will need to:

  • Pick ten trees in your schoolyard for study
  • Prepare and install the dendrometer (tree) bands
  • Allow four weeks for the bands to settle

When the trees are ready, you will use the digital calipers in your kit to measure the gap in the bands. This will establish a baseline for growth. At the minimum, we would like two measurements in the spring and two in the fall to help us monitor the growing season. You may, however, take as many measurements as you like. The more data we get the better!

The Smithsonian Institution's Tree Banding Project is part of Shout, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution, TakingITGlobal and Microsoft Partners in Learning. The Shout program offers:

  • Online events hosted by the Smithsonian Institution that feature some of the world’s leading scientists and environmental experts as well as representatives of other fields who bring diverse perspectives to the issues at hand. Sessions can be watched live in real time or in archived format in order to accommodate all time zones.
  • Access to Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Network, a global community of educators who value innovative uses of information and communication technology, in order to share environmental education resources, experiences, and best practices with teachers around the world.
  • Engagement of students in TakingITGlobal's online community, which provides resources, action tools, as well as the complimentary use of content-rich virtual classrooms and collaboration spaces designed to deepen environmental understanding and stewardship, enhance the development of 21st century skills, and facilitate continued communication with Smithsonian experts.
  • The www.shoutlearning.org website that ties these elements together and provides access to additional tools and resources to support a range of “student challenges” – calls for deeper involvement that can range from capturing and sharing scientific data to developing youth-led initiatives for positive change.

For more information

How to prepare and install your dendrometer.pdf

Smithsonian Institution Tree Banding Users Guide v.01.pdf