Dendrochronology

Dendrochronology relies on the fact that most trees of the same species, growing at the same time, over a wide area, will show similar growth patterns in their rings. Starting with living trees and progressively overlapping older samples allows the construction of long chronologies, and hence samples of unknown age may then be dated. This requires that enough rings are present to be able to match the growth patterns, that rings are clearly distinguishable, and that ‘local’ chronologies are available. The results may indicate the source of the wood. This technique is applicable to buildings, ships, furniture etc. and is also important in climate reconstruction.

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