Start Tree ring dating techniques

Tree ring dating techniques

Also important, each sample must have enough rings present to establish an accurate match.

Because oak is so long-lived and its outer wood (sapwood) easily distinguishable, it provides ideal samples for study.

Various species of trees like oak, chestnut, pine, elm, and fir, for example, produce annual growth rings whose width depends on moisture and climatic conditions.

There is also a difference in the nature of the wood from the exterior bark, the outermost growing layers where the sap flows (the sapwood) down to the heartwood and core of the tree.

Core samples with less than 50 rings are considered unsuitable.

Most critical, however, in obtaining a reliable felling date is the presence or absence of sapwood and how much.

Dendrochronology, or Tree-ring dating, has emerged in the last decade as one of the most important dating tools for medieval carpentry and timberwork in general.

Briefly stated, dendrochronology creates a statistically-based calendar from the meticulous measurement of the variation in width and character of annual tree rings.

For example, chronologies for Warwickshire in the West Midlands, indicate that sapwood rings for oak vary from 15 to 40 in number and a general average of ca.