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Do tree rings show the age of the tree in years, or does it show the different periods of wet and dry times. So if a tree has 50rings in it does it mean that it is 50 yrs old or it has gone through different times of wet and dry periods.?

August 27, 2012 at 2:50 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Dr. Derek P. Blake
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Hi Gemmy, this is an interesting subject, the rings found in the cross section of a tree are annual secondary growth rings, so each ring represents one year's growth.  The science is called 'Dendrochronology' and is a very useful tool for dating almost anything that is or is made of wood.  Each year has a different growth cycle, warm and wet years cause greater growth and so wider rings, so hot dry years produce very narrow rings, so by using a sequence of over-lapping records, archaeologists can date buildings by their beams, looking for a match in the records. If I remember correctly, we have a record of over 5000 years at this point, and dendrochronology can be used to calibrate short range radio-metric dating systems.






August 28, 2012 at 9:52 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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