I am a student at Smith College, and recently did a project applying image processing techniques to identify rings in tree core scans for a computer vision seminar. I want to continue working on it, and am hoping to find a group of researchers interested in the results. The dream would be for someone to give me feedback as to what is useful and to apply the code in the end.
I built on the methodology of a paper that used edge detection to assign lines to rings in a tree core scan. To improve their method, I short-cut the failure-prone step of separating out connected components of edge pixels before assigning lines, instead using a Hough Transform to fit lines to all of them at once. I think it has a lot of potential.
I scanned through the Resources section of this page and didn't see anything on tools for automation. I'm hoping to help someone this summer!