Dendrochronology or tree-ring dating is the scientific method of dating tree rings also called growth rings to the exact year they were formed. As well as dating them this can give data for dendroclimatology , the study of climate and atmospheric conditions during different periods in history from wood. Dendrochronology is useful for determining the precise age of samples, especially those that are too recent for radiocarbon dating , which always produces a range rather than an exact date, to be very accurate. However, for a precise date of the death of the tree a full sample to the edge is needed, which most trimmed timber will not provide.
Radiocarbon Tree-Ring Calibration
About Tree Rings | Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
Many different fields of science need to be able to identify how old things are. For example, archaeologists want to be able to date artifacts they dig up from previous civilizations, and paleontologists need to be able to date bones and fossils. There are many different methods of dating used by scientists. Dendrochronology uses the rings of trees to determine the age of the tree. Become a Study.
About Tree Rings
This technique was developed during the first half of the twentieth century, originally by astronomer A. Douglass sought to better understand cycles of sunspot activity and correctly reasoned that changes in solar activity would affect climate patterns on Earth, which would subsequently be recorded by tree-ring growth patterns. The technique of dendrochronology can date tree rings in many types of wood to the exact calendar year when each ring was formed.
The annual growth rings of long-lived trees, such as sequoias, bristlecone pines, and European oaks, whose wood was used for beams, posts, and other purposes can be used to date sites. Seasonal conditions affect annual tree growth, causing all trees of the same species within a given geographical region to have the same tree-ring pattern. Cross sections of cut or dead trees from a single region are compared and the tree-ring patterns are matched. Originally used on southwestern pueblos, tree-ring dating uses sequences of growth rings to determine the date when the tree was first cut down.