Leavitt, Steven W. Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
Panyushkina, Irina P. Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
Grissino-Mayer, Henri D. Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia.
Last reviewed:November 2019
- Annual ring formation
- Principles and primary considerations
- Collecting tree rings
- Measuring tree rings
- Chronology building
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The science that dates annual tree rings to their exact year of formation for study of modern, historical, and prehistorical events and environmental conditions. Trees are intimately bound to the environment, with their growth influenced by natural (for example, precipitation and temperature patterns) and human-induced (for example, air and water pollution) processes and events, which are consistently and dependably recorded in their rings. In most geographic regions, year-to-year climate patterns induce variability in the volume of wood that the tree produces, and in certain physical and chemical properties of the wood, such as the varying widths of tree rings. In some years, environmental conditions may be favorable for tree growth, allowing trees to produce greater volumes of wood. In other years, climate conditions may be generally unfavorable for tree growth, causing a reduction in the volume of wood produced. See also: Dendrology; Tree; Tree growth; Wood properties
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