Tree-Ring Research is the peer-reviewed journal of the Tree Ring Society. The journal was first published in 1934 under the title Tree-Ring Bulletin. In 2001, the title changed to Tree-Ring Research.

Issues from 1934–2006 are freely available on the publications section of the Tree-Ring Society website. The Tree-Ring Society and the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona partnered with the University Libraries to re-digitize back issues for improved searching capabilities and long-term preservation.


Contact the Editor of Tree-Ring Research at editor@treeringsociety.org.

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Recent Submissions

  • Laser Trimming Tree-Ring Cores for Dendrochemistry of Metals

    Sheppard, Paul R.; Witten, Mark L.; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721; Department of Pediatrics, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721 (Tree-Ring Society, 2005)
    This article discusses the application of laser to trim the outer surface from tree-ring increment cores in preparation for dendrochemistry of certain metals. A source of contamination specific to dendrochemistry of metals is metal constituents, such as iron, tungsten, chromium, nickel, and cobalt, coming off tools used to collect and process cores and adhering to the sample surface. One method to eliminate this contamination is to trim off the outer surface of cores using laser. To test this application of laser, three tree-ring increment cores were collected from each of three trees. For each tree, one core was trimmed using a CO2 laser, one core was trimmed using a stainless steel razor blade, and one core was left untrimmed. The resultant cores were measured for metals using acid dissolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy. Trimmed cores had on average one-third the content of iron, tungsten, and chromium than that of untrimmed cores. Laser-trimmed cores had less of these metals than razor-trimmed cores. Razor-trimmed cores also had measurable nickel, but laser-trimmed cores had no nickel. Laser trimming is an ideal solution to potential contamination of cores with metals from increment borers without imparting other contamination from tools such as razor blades.
  • Tree-Ring Dating of the Karr-Koussevitzky Double Bass: A Case Study in Dendromusicology

    Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; DeWeese, Georgina G.; Williams, Dustin A.; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996; Williams Fine Violins & Luthier Studios, Nashville, Tennessee 37212 (Tree-Ring Society, 2005)
    Sergei Koussevitzky was one of the world’s premier conductors and virtuoso bass players whose favorite instrument was an unusually-shaped bass reportedly made in 1611 by the Amati brothers, Antonio and Girolamo. In 1962, 11 years after Koussevitzky’s death, his widow gave the bass to Gary Karr, currently considered to be the world’s premier double bassist. In 2004, Karr donated the bass to the International Society of Bassists. Close inspection by a team of experts in 2004, however, revealed stylistic inconsistencies that suggested a later construction date. We used four reference tree-ring chronologies developed from treeline species in the European Alpine region to anchor the dates for the tree rings from the double bass absolutely in time. The bass yielded a 317-year long sequence, the longest sequence yet developed from a single musical instrument. Statistical and graphical comparisons revealed that the bass has tree rings that date from 1445 to 1761. Based on the strength of these correlations, the spruce tree harvested to eventually construct the double bass likely came from the treeline Alpine area of western Austria, not too far from Obergurgl at the Italian border. Our results demonstrate that the double bass was not made by the Amati Brothers, but likely by French luthiers in the late 18th Century.
  • Some Geometric Constraints on Ring-Width Trend

    Phipps, Richard L.; U.S. Geological Survey (Tree-Ring Society, 2005)
    Simulations of tree rings from trees of undisturbed forest sites are used to describe natural, long-term width trends. Ring-width trends of canopy-sized white oak are simulated from regressions of BAI (ring area) data of real trees. Examples are given of a tree from a typical re-growth forest in Illinois and of a more slowly growing tree from an old-growth forest in Kentucky. The long-term width trend was simulated as being toward constant ring width regardless of growth rate of the tree. Conditions by which either increasing or decreasing ring-width trends could be simulated from the same linear BAI trend are examined. I conclude that curvilinear width trends, either increasing or decreasing, represent width adjustments to changes in growth rate (BAI trend) after which the width trend stabilizes to a near-constant value. Interpretation of ring-width trends of trees from undisturbed stands may be useful in assessing stand disturbance history.
  • Exploratory Temperature and Precipitation Reconstructions from the Qinling Mountains, North-Central China

    Garfin, Gregg M.; Hughes, Malcolm K.; Yu, Liu; Burns, James M.; Touchan, Ramzi; Leavitt, Steven W.; Zhisheng, An; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, The University of Arizona, Tuscson, AZ 85721; The State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xian 710075, People's Republic of China (Tree-Ring Society, 2005)
    February-April (FMA) temperature at Foping (1879-1989) and July-August (JA) precipitation at Xian (1895–1988) have been reconstructed using total ring width (TRW) and maximum latewood density (MXD) from trees in the Qinling Mountains, at the northern limit of the East Asian monsoon, in central China. The Xian JA precipitation reconstruction, albeit short, represents the first well-replicated, crossdated dendroclimatic reconstruction of summer monsoon precipitation for this region. Reconstructed Xian precipitation shows significant positive relationships with historical evidence from the region. The key feature of the precipitation reconstruction is prolonged summer drought during the late 1920s and early 1930s. The Foping reconstruction displays warmer-than-average FMA temperatures during this time period. These exploratory reconstructions, along with a previous reconstruction from Huashan, demonstrate the complexity of attempting dendroclimatic reconstructions from this region. Our results indicate that further attempts to locate long-lived conifers from here can result in an extended well-calibrated and verified reconstruction of summer monsoon precipitation.
  • In Memoriam- Paul E. Damon

    Long, Austin (Tree-Ring Society, 2005)
  • Dendrochronological Potential of the Arctic Dwarf-Shrub Cassiope Tetragona

    Rayback, Shelly A.; Henry, Gregory H. R.; Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 Canada (Tree-Ring Society, 2005)
    In this report, we describe the use of dendrochronological techniques on the circumpolar, evergreen dwarf-shrub, Cassiope tetragona. Using techniques such as crossdating and standardization, and the software programs COFECHA and ARSTAN, we developed C. tetragona growth and reproduction chronologies for sites in the Canadian High Arctic. High-resolution chronologies may be used to reconstruct past climate and phase changes in large-scale modes of atmospheric circulation (e.g. Arctic Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation), to investigate the growth and reproductive responses of the plant to ambient and manipulated environmental variables, and to reconstruct the plant’s past ecohydrology (δ¹⁸O, δD, δ¹³C), gas exchange (δ¹³C) and mineral nutrition (δ¹⁵N). As C. tetragona is a circumpolar species, chronologies may be developed throughout the Arctic at sites where no trees exist, and thus provide new information on the past climate and environmental history of sites and regions previously unstudied.
  • Mixed Response of Decadal Variability in Larch Tree-Ring Chronologies from Upper Tree-Lines of the Russian Altai

    Panushkina, Irina P.; Ovtchinnikov, Dmitriy V.; Adamenko, Mikhail F.; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721; Laboratory of Dendrochronology, V. N. Sukachev Institute of Forest SB RAS, Akademgorodok, Krasnoyarsk, Russia, 660048; Novokusnezk Teacher Training Institute, Kemerovskaya obl., Russia 654000 (Tree-Ring Society, 2005)
    We developed a network of tree-ring width chronologies of larch (Larix sibirica Led.) from upper tree-lines of the southeast Altai Mountains, South Siberia. Annual tree-ring variability of chronologies since A.D. 1710 was compared using factor analysis. The factor analysis clustered eight tree-ring chronologies into two groups that were used for compositing chronologies. One resulting composite chronology (A.D. 1582-1994) averaged sites from upper tree-lines in glacier-free areas and another chronology (A.D. 1090-1999) captured the sites at upper tree-lines in valleys of the Korumdu, Aktru, Yan-Karasu and Kizil-Tash Glaciers (North-Chuya Range). There is no significant difference in the estimated strength of temperature signals (June and July) of the composite chronologies. However, we observed a remarkable contrast in the decadal variability of larch growth between upper tree-lines of glacier-free areas and glacier valleys. The tree-ring growth of larch was coherent among the chronologies for the period A.D. 1582-1725. Suddenly, low-frequency similarity declined around A.D. 1730. The magnitude of differences became more pronounced after A.D. 1775 indicating three periods with opposite growth tendency (1775-1850, 1900-1915 and 1960-1994) that alternated with short periods of coherent growth. We assume that the low-frequency signal in the glacier valley larch chronology accommodates oscillations of both summer temperature and glacier dynamics. The periods of low-frequency departures are consistent with the 19th Century advance and tremendous 20th Century retreat of the glaciers. We argue that expanded glaciers enhance harmful impacts of katabatic wind on larch growth. It appears that employing tree rings from upper tree-lines of glaciated areas for estimation of decadal and centennial variability climatic proxies should be selected with great caution.
  • Multicentennial Ring-Width Chronologies of Scots Pine Along a North-South Gradient Across Finland

    Helama, Samuli; Lindholm, Markus; Meriläinen, Jouko; Timonen, Mauri; Eronen, Matti; Department of Geology, University of Helsinki, Finland; Saima Centre for Environmental Sciences, University of Joensuu, Savolinna, Finland; Finnish Forest Research Institute, Rovaniemi Research Station, Rovaniemi, Finland (Tree-Ring Society, 2005)
    Four regional Scots pine ring-width chronologies at the northern forest-limit, and in the northern, middle and southern boreal forest belts in Finland cover the last fourteen centuries. Tree-ring statistics and response functions were examined, and tree-ring width variation was also compared to North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and volcanic forcing. The tree-ring statistics show evidence of an ecogeographical gradient along a north-south transect. The three northernmost regional chronologies share a positive response to mid-summer temperature, and all four chronologies show positive and significant correlation to early-summer precipitation. Moreover, a positive and significant relationship to winter NAO was detected in three out of four regional chronologies. NAO also drives the common (inter-regional) growth variability. Years of known cool summers caused by volcanic forcing exhibit exceptionally narrow tree rings in the three northernmost regional chronologies.
  • Seasonal Growth Characteristics of Kauri

    Fowler, Anthony; Lorrey, Andrew; Crossley, Peter; The University of Auckland, School of Geography and Environmental Science, Auckland, New Zealand (Tree-Ring Society, 2005)
    Considerable research has occurred in recent years to build Agathis australis (D. Don) Lindley (kauri) tree-ring chronologies for paleoclimate applications and to identify statistical relationships between kauri tree rings and climate. This paper reports on a multi-year study of the seasonal growth of kauri, designed to assist in the interpretation of identified statistical relationships, and to determine if kauri’s seasonal growth characteristics are dependent on tree size. To achieve this, 43 kauri (0.09-2.00 m diameter) at Huapai Scientific Reserve were fitted with vernier bands to measure circumference change over 3-4 growing seasons. Absolute (mm) and relative (proportion of total ring) monthly growth rates were calculated for each tree and statistics characterizing the timing of growth were calculated (e.g. date corresponding to 50% of growth). Tree size-related differences were assessed by splitting the data into three subsets based on size, then comparing the monthly growth rates and growth timing statistics for the subsets. The growth timing statistics were also correlated with tree diameter. A key finding is the strong dominance of spring growth, with October and November alone accounting for 38-50% of the total ring width. This result is consistent across age cohorts, although the largest trees tended to peak in November, rather than October. This indicates that kauri tree rings are likely to have value in terms of reconstructing spring conditions; consistent with reported statistical relationships between kauri tree rings and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation phenomenon. High inter-tree variance in growth rates characterized the results, but little of this variance was accounted for by tree size. Although relationships between tree size and growth characteristics were generally weak and inconsistent, they are considered sufficient to warrant a precautionary approach in the development of tree-ring chronologies for climate reconstruction purposes.