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We are able to study this variable, which in turn enables the compilation of characteristic sequences – the so-called tree-ring curves,” explains geographer Kurt Nicolussi, head of the at the University of Innsbruck.When it comes to living trees, annual rings are dated from their outer circumference to their inner circumference.Taking core samples at a point in the year where pests and rain are less likely to be present can help lessen some of this risk.Once the core sample is obtained, the tree’s age is determined by counting the number of rings evident in the sample.These enable comparison with wooden artifacts of an unknown age plus the exact dating of ancient wood.The annual ring pattern that is created should typically have eighty or more rings.For example, a palm tree can be compared with another tree whose age is known in order to get an estimate of the palm’s age.
American Andrew Ellicott Douglass is the pioneer of this science.At the University of Innsbruck there is a marked expertise in dendrochronology, also known as tree-ring dating research.The aim of science is to date wood and to draw conclusions about architectural history, climate and glacier development. They reveal individual growth phases from which scientists are able to extract various kinds of information.Since each ring corresponds to roughly one year of growth, making it possible to get a highly accurate estimate of a tree’s age.This use of tree-ring dating to find the age of a tree is also known as dendrochronology.
By providing shade from the heat of the sun, giving us wood products, and turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, trees play an important role in our society and the Earth’s ecosystem.