What is Dendrochronology?

What is Dendrochronology? If you look at the different parts of the word, the definition is there in the word itself. Dendron means tree, chrono means time and logy means the study of. The ancient Greek are the ones who came up with the word It’s an approach to figuring out the age of trees. Do you need tree pruning round rock?

Specifically, you find out what year those rings formed and that will tell you how old that specific tree happens to be. This process isn’t just beneficial to finding out the age of different trees. This study can also provide information of weather and atmosphere conditions from previous times.


If you wanted to find the exact age of a tree, you would use a sample of the tree you are trying to find the age of. Radiocarbon dating can be used there are a couple of drawbacks to that method. One drawback is it won’t work for samples collected after a certain point.

The second drawback is radiocarbon dating will only give a big range on what the age of that tree could be. If you are looking to find out when a tree died, that sample of the tree you collect has to include the edge which is usually not included when the wood is cut.

Dendrochronology is not just useful for finding out the age of different trees, but those samples provide information on when certain events happened and changes in the weather. This process is also used to measure radiocarbon ages to make sure ages found from that method are accurate.


When trees grow, the aging happens in cells that happen to be close to the bark. The rate at which trees grow will change throughout the year because of the different weather changes as we transition from season to season.

Those different weather changes are what causes the rings to form on the tree. Each ring that can be seen counts for one full year. that specific tree happened to be alive. The following statistics on the oldest tree in the Northern Hemisphere was found in 2013. The ages of the oldest tree range between 12,500 to 14,000 years.


If bark is removed from a tree trunk that is still alive, it could cause the rings to look weird. The reason for this is the tree will continue to grow and it will grow over where bark was removed and, in the process, the tree will grow over part of the ring.


An example of what tree rings can tell you about where they formed are the water conditions. If a tree grew where it acquired lots of rainfall, the tree ring for that year will be wide. If the tree did not get much rainfall but still grew, the ring will be a lot slenderer.


This process does face hardships, however. If a sample of the tree is not collected before the tree starts being devoured by insects, they can wreck the look of the rings which could lead to false information about the environment where the tree grew.


Dendrochronology is a way to find out the age of trees and might be more favorable then Radiocarbon dating. These rings can also tell someone who studies these which years the tree got a lot of water and which years the tree did not get as much. There are a couple of environmental factors that can make it difficult to state the age of a tree.