Tree dating activity

In dendrochronology, large databases allow scientists to compare the ring records of many trees, construct maps of former regional climates, and reveal when, where, and how quickly the climates changed.

Background Trees contain some of nature's most accurate evidence of the past.

Instead, core samples are extracted using a borer that's screwed into the tree and pulled out, bringing with it a straw-size sample of wood about 4 millimeters in diameter.

The hole in the tree is then sealed to prevent disease.

Besides dating trees and revealing past climate data, dendrochronology is used to provide information about glacial activity, volcanic events, and even past insect outbreaks. Majestic Trees of America Timeline Trees Highlights some tree-related milestones from 2000 b.c., around when the oldest living tree was born, to 2001 a.d., the year America voted for a National Tree.

You may want to tell students that scientists rarely cut down the trees they research. Ultimate Tree-Ring Web Pages Provides comprehensive information about dendrochronology and links to a wide range of dendrochronology resources.

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