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

  • The 2008 Ameridendro Awards

    Grissino-Mayer, Henri D. (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-01)
  • An Issue Devoted To Southeastern Dendrochronology Editor's Note

    Leavitt, Steven W.; Tree-Ring Society (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-01)
  • Assessing The Importance Of Past Human Behavior In Dendroarchaeological Research: Examples From Range Creek Canyon, Utah, U.S.A.

    Towner, Ronald H.; Salzer, Matthew W.; Parks, James A.; Barlow, K. Renee; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona; College of Eastern Utah (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-07)
    Dendroarchaeological samples can contain three kinds of information: chronological, behavioral, and environmental. The decisions of past people regarding species selection, beam size, procurement and modification techniques, deadwood use, and stockpiling are the most critical factors influencing an archaeological date distribution. Using dendrochronological samples from prehistoric and historic period sites in the same area of eastern Utah, this paper examines past human behavior as the critical factor in dendroarchaeological date distributions.
  • Progress In Constructing A Long Oak Chronology From The Central United States

    Stambaugh, Michael C.; Guyette, Richard P.; Missouri Tree-Ring Laboratory, Department of Forestry, University of Missouri–Columbia (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-07)
    We describe methods and progress in developing the American Long Oak Chronology (ALOC), an effort to construct an oak tree-ring chronology from the Central US that spans the Holocene. Since 2000, we have collected and measured ring widths on over 550 pieces of subfossil oak (Quercus) wood. Over 330 oak samples have been radiocarbon dated, with ages ranging up to 14,000 cal yr B.P. A 1,093- year-long tree-ring record has been constructed from live and subfossil bur oaks (Q. macrocarpa Michx.) and swamp white oaks (Q. bicolor Willd.) growing along and buried in sediments of streams that flow through northern Missouri and southern Iowa, USA. Here we describe the ALOC for the period A.D. 912–2004 to demonstrate its dendrochronological value, display the material quality, and emphasize the importance of chronology construction. We also report on progress in developing older floating chronologies. The development of more long, multi-millennium chronologies will be an important contribution to dendroclimatology. These chronologies will be particularly useful to the Central US, a region with a continental climate and limited temporal depth of annually resolved paleorecords. Perhaps more critical is its location in the middle of one of the most important agricultural regions in the world.
  • Evaluation Of Sassafras Albidum For Dendrochronology

    Sparks, Jodi K. Farrell; Bishop, Graham I.; Department of Geography, Geology, and Anthropology, Indiana State University (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-07)
    Sassafras is a deciduous, hardwood, ring-porous species occurring throughout the eastern United States as far west as the Great Plains, but sassafras is used rarely in dendrochronological studies. Samples from 44 sassafras (Sassafras albidum) trees were crossdated (Crossdating Index 2) within and between two sites in Indiana. Ring-width indices were significantly correlated with a variety of climatic indicators. These results suggest that sassafras can be used for a variety of dendrochronological studies.
  • Annual Precipitation Variation Inferred From Tree Rings Since A.D. 1770 For The Western Qilian Mts., Northern Tibetan Plateau

    Liang, Eryuan; Shao, Xuemei; Liu, Xiaohong; Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes (TEL), Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China; Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-07)
    A long-term perspective of the recent climate change on the Tibetan Plateau is hampered by a lack of sufficiently long weather records. Here we describe a tree-ring based reconstruction of annual (prior July to current June) precipitation for the western Qilian Mts., northern Tibetan Plateau. This reconstruction accounts for 54.9% of the variance in instrumental precipitation data from 1935 to 2003. It shows distinct dry periods in 1782–1798, 1816–1837, 1869–1888 and 1920–1932, matching in general with local historical archives and other climatic proxy data on the northern Tibetan Plateau. Our research provides a background for evaluating hydroclimatic changes in the past two hundred years in a vulnerable arid region on the northern Tibetan Plateau.
  • Variance Stabilization Revisited: A Case For Analysis Based On Data Pooling

    Fowler, A. M.; School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science, The University of Auckland (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-07)
    The traditional approach to standardizing tree-ring time series is to divide raw ring widths by a fitted curve. Although the derived ratios are conceptually elegant and have a more homogenous variance through time than simple differences, residual heteroscedasticity associated with variance dependence on local mean ring width may remain. Incorrect inferences about climate forcing may result if this heteroscedasticity is not corrected for, or at least recognized (with appropriate caveats). A new variance stabilization method is proposed that specifically targets this source of heteroscedasticity. It is based on stabilizing the magnitude of differences from standardization curves to a common reference local mean ring width and uses data pooled from multiple radii. Application of the method to a multi-site kauri (Agathis australis (D. Don) Lindley) data set shows that (a) the heteroscedasticity issue addressed may be generic rather than radius-specific, at least for some species, (b) variance stabilization using pooled data works well for standardization curves of variable flexibility, (c) in the case of kauri, simple ratios do not appear to be significantly affected by this cause of heteroscedasticity, and (d) centennial-scale variance trends are highly sensitive to the analytical methods used to build tree-ring chronologies.
  • Research Communication: An International Tree-Ring Isotope Data Bank- A Proposed Repository For Tree-Ring Isotopic Data

    Csank, Adam Z.; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-07)
    The International Tree-Ring Data Bank (ITRDB) is an invaluable resource, providing access to a massive and growing cache of tree-ring data. Oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen isotope treering studies, which have provided valuable climatic and ecological information, have proliferated for decades so an ITRDB expansion to include isotopic data would likewise benefit the scientific community. An international tree-ring isotope databank (ITRIDB) would: (1) allow development of transfer functions from extended isotopic data sets, (2) provide abundant tree-ring isotopic data for meta-analysis, and (3) encourage isotopic network studies. A Europe network already exists, but the international data bank proposed here would constitute a de facto global network. Associated information to be incorporated into the database includes not only the customary ITRDB entries, but also elements peculiar to isotope chronologies. As with the current ITRDB, submission of data would be voluntary and as such it will be crucial to have the support of the tree-ring isotope community to contribute existing and forthcoming isotope series. The plan is to institute this isotope database in 2010, administered by the National Climatic Data Center.
  • Climate-Radial Growth Relationships Of Northern Latitudinal Range Margin Longleaf Pine (Pinus Palustris P. Mill.) In The Atlantic Coastal Plain Of Southeastern Virginia

    Bhuta, Arvind A. R.; Kennedy, Lisa M.; Pederson, Neil; Department of Geography, Virginia Tech; Department of Biological Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-07)
    Climate and longleaf pine (Pinus palustris P. Mill.) radial growth relationships have been documented within its southern and western distribution. However, knowledge of this relationship is lacking along its northern latitudinal range margin (NLRM). Based on the principles of ecological amplitude, limiting factors, and studies of coniferous species in eastern temperate forests of the U.S., we hypothesized that the radial growth of longleaf pine in mixed pine-hardwood forests is responding to winter temperatures in southeastern Virginia. Two longleaf pine chronologies were developed to determine the relationship between radial growth and monthly temperature, precipitation, and Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) via response function analysis (RFA). Results at the 0.05 level yielded significant response function coefficients with a positive response to current winter temperature and precipitation and a negative response to prior August PDSI. In studies of climate and longleaf pine radial growth in other parts of its range, winter temperature and precipitation have not shared a significant positive association with radial growth. Instead current spring and summer precipitation usually share this positive association. These findings add more evidence to an emerging pattern suggesting that winter temperatures contribute to limiting the radial growth of temperate conifers at northern range margins in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Tree-Ring Dating Of Old-Growth Longleaf Pine (Pinus Palustris Mill.) Logs From An Exposed Timber Crib Dam, Hope Mills, North Carolina, U.S.A.

    Van De Gevel, Saskia L.; Hart, Justin L.; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; Robinson, Kenneth W.; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee; Department of Anthropology, Wake Forest University (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-01)
    On 26 May 2003, intense rainfall from a series of thunderstorms in eastern North Carolina caused flooding that eventually destroyed the concrete dam in Hope Mills, draining Hope Mills Lake, and revealing a formerly submerged and buried structure that was identified as a timber crib dam. Inspection revealed these logs to be old-growth longleaf pines, which are now rare on the coastal plain landscape. Our primary objective was to develop a new multi-century longleaf pine tree-ring chronology by crossdating the tree rings from sections extracted from logs in the crib dam with an anchored tree-ring chronology created from nearby living longleaf pine trees. We also examined the climatic response in the longleaf pine trees to evaluate their potential for reconstructing climate. Using tree-ring measurements obtained from old-growth longleaf pines found at a nearby church, we were able to date the rings on 21 series representing 14 logs from the crib dam, spanning the years 1597 to 1825. Distorted sapwood in many of the logs prevented us from finding absolute cutting dates and lessened the strength of correlation during the period of overlap between the church series and crib dam series. Human disturbances, specifically related to the naval stores industry, likely influenced the growth-ring patterns of the crib dam pine samples, as well. Correlation analyses between the longleaf pine chronology and temperature, precipitation, Palmer Drought Severity Indices, and North Atlantic sea surface temperatures showed a significant response to cool and wet spring months.
  • The Historical Dendroarchaeology Of Two Log Structures At The Marble Springs Historic Site, Knox County, Tennessee, U.S.A.

    Slayton, Jessica D.; Stevens, Maggie R.; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; Faulkner, Charles H.; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee; Department of Anthropology, The University of Tennessee (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-01)
    The Marble Springs homestead in south Knox County serves as a significant heritage site for the state of Tennessee because it was the final home of one of our nation’s most important founding statesmen and first governor of Tennessee (1796 to 1801, 1803 to 1809), John Sevier. Recent archaeological and historical research had called into question the authenticity of the original John Sevier log cabin located at the Marble Springs homestead. We used tree-ring dating to determine the year(s) of construction of the Governor John Sevier cabin and the adjacent Walker Springs log cabin (which had been relocated to the site later and has no ties to Gov. John Sevier) by first extracting cores from all accessible logs in the cabins and then evaluating the cutting dates of these logs. A nearby reference chronology at Norris Dam anchored the Gov. John Sevier cabin chronology from 1720 to 1834 and the Walker Springs cabin chronology from 1675 to 1826. The cutting dates obtained from six logs in the Gov. John Sevier cabin suggest construction of the cabin was completed sometime between late 1835 and early 1836. We were able to date cores from 29 logs from the Walker Springs cabin, which strongly support final construction between late 1827 to early 1828. Our dendrochronological analyses suggest that the cabin at Marble Springs long thought to be the original cabin occupied by Gov. John Sevier was instead likely built during the occupancy of the property by a later tenant, George Kirby, in the early to mid-1830s, well after the death of Sevier in 1815.
  • From Blockhouse To Hog House: The Historical Dendroarchaeology Of The Swaggerty Blockhouse, Cocke County, Tennessee, U.S.A.

    Mann, David F.; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; Faulkner, Charles H.; Rehder, John B.; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee; Department of Anthropology, The University of Tennessee; Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-01)
    The Swaggerty Blockhouse has historical and cultural significance for Tennessee because it is believed to be the only remaining 18th Century blockhouse in the state. We incorporated analyses of artifacts obtained from archaeological excavations coupled with tree-ring dating techniques to determine the possible year of construction of the structure. A nearby reference tree-ring chronology from Norris Dam anchored the Swaggerty Blockhouse tree-ring chronology from 1674 to 1859. The assemblages of artifacts (nails, ceramics, and window glass) recovered from the site corroborated the construction date and provided a clear understanding of the structure’s use as a barn for storage and hog processing. Based on our analyses, the historic Swaggerty ‘‘Blockhouse,’’ originally believed to have been built by James Swaggerty in 1787, is instead a small cantilever barn built by Jacob Stephens in 1860 and used for hog farming.
  • Dendrochronological Dating Of Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus Virginiana L.) Logs From Alfred's Cabin, The Hermitage, Home Of President Andrew Jackson

    Lewis, Daniel B.; Nelson, Whitney L.; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; Cook, Edward R.; Jones, Robbie D.; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee; Tree-Ring Laboratory, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University; Director of Preservation, The Hermitage, Home of President Andrew Jackson (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-01)
    Alfred Jackson was an enslaved African American born on The Hermitage plantation (outside Nashville, Tennessee) of President Andrew Jackson around 1810, and lived most of his life on the plantation. Staff from The Hermitage wished to better understand and interpret lifeways of those once enslaved on the plantation, but the date of construction of Alfred’s Cabin first had to be determined. Was it built when Alfred was enslaved or was a freedman? We extracted nearly 100 core samples from eastern red cedar logs used to construct the cabin. Of these, 39 cores were used to develop a master tree-ring chronology for the cabin. Crossdating of the Alfred’s Cabin chronology was accomplished using an eastern red cedar chronology developed by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Tree- Ring Laboratory at Columbia University in Palisades, New York. The 39 series from Alfred’s Cabin resulted in a high-quality master tree-ring chronology, with an average inter-series correlation of 0.66 and an average mean sensitivity of 0.28. Graphical (skeleton plot and line plot) comparison and statistical crossdating with COFECHA anchored the Alfred’s Cabin chronology firmly between 1749 and 1842 (r = 0.45, n = 94 yrs, t = 4.83, p < 0.0001). Cutting dates of these 39 trees ranged from 1841 to 1843. This latter date indicates that the final trees used to construct the cabin were harvested in spring or early summer of 1843, with final construction of Alfred’s Cabin occurring soon after.
  • A Dendroarchaeological Approach To Mississippian Culture Occupational History In Eastern Tennessee, U.S.A.

    Koerner, Shannon D.; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; Sullivan, Lynne P.; DeWeese, Georgina G.; Department of Anthropology, The University of Tennessee; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee; Frank H. McClung Museum, The University of Tennessee; Department of Geosciences, University of West Georgia (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-01)
    We investigated the potential for using long-archived wood samples extracted from archaeological contexts at four Mississippian Period (AD 900–1600) settlements in eastern Tennessee for tree-ring dating purposes. Sixteen wood samples recovered from prehistoric sites were analyzed to: (1) crossmatch samples from each site with the intent of determining the relative chronological order of sites, (2) establish a floating prehistoric tree-ring chronology for eastern Tennessee, (3) determine the applicability of dendrochronology in prehistoric archaeology in eastern Tennessee, and (4) establish a strategy for future research in the region. We succeeded in crossmatching only three of the 16 tree-ring sequences against each other, representing two sites relatively close to each other: Upper Hampton and Watts Bar Reservoir. The average interseries correlation of these three samples was 0.74 with an average mean sensitivity of 0.26, and they were used to create a 131-year-long floating chronology. The remaining samples contained too few rings (15 to 43) for conclusive crossmatching. Our results demonstrate that dendrochronological techniques may be applied to the practice of prehistoric archaeology in the Southeastern U.S., but highlight the challenges that face dendroarchaeologists: (1) poor wood preservation at prehistoric sites, (2) too few rings in many samples, (3) the lack of a reference chronology long enough for absolute dating, and (4) the lack of a standard on-site sampling protocol to ensure the fragile wood samples remain intact.
  • The Historical Dendroarchaeology Of The Hoskins House, Tannenbaum Historic Park, Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S.A.

    Henderson, Joseph P.; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; Van De Gevel, Saskia L.; Hart, Justin L.; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-01)
    The Hoskins House is a two-story, single pen log structure located in Tannenbaum Historic Park, Greensboro, North Carolina. The house is thought to have been built by Joseph Hoskins, who lived in Guilford County from 1778 until his death in 1799. Previous archaeological testing of soil around the house yielded over 1000 artifacts, and the ceramics of these gave a Mean Ceramic Date (MCD) of 1810 as a possible initial year of construction. Our objective was to date the outermost rings on as many logs as were accessible in the Hoskins House to determine the year or range of years when the house was likely built. We compared 37 ring-width measurement series from 28 white oak group logs with a composite reference chronology created from three oak reference chronologies from Virginia. We found that the logs were cut over a 3-year period from 1811 to 1813, lending credence to the initial MCD of 1810. Joseph Hoskins had already passed away in 1799 and the property was deeded to his two sons, Joseph and Ellis. Ellis Hoskins eventually was later deeded sole possession of the property. The two-story log house located at Tannenbaum Historic Park may be more correctly called the ‘‘Ellis Hoskins House’’ rather than the ‘‘Joseph Hoskins House.’’
  • Preface: An Introduction To Dendroarchaeology In The Southeastern United States

    Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee–Knoxville (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-01)
    Dendroarchaeology has a discontinuous history in the Southeastern United States, mostly because of misconceptions (the Southeast is too mesic), bad sampling practices (no standard protocol exists for preserving prehistoric wood samples), and a lack of reference tree-ring chronologies long enough to date wood from the abundant prehistoric sites. The majority of archaeological applications in recent years has focused on the dating of historic sites and structures to verify the documented year(s) of construction largely in response to requests from historical agencies to verify when a particular structure was built. We have found that most structures are one to two generations younger than their reported date(s) of construction, but most agencies find this information useful as tree-ring dating lends historical credibility to any site. The future of dendroarchaeology in the Southeast is encouraging but many more trained experts are needed to meet the demand of dating historical structures and sites. Furthermore, once a sampling protocol becomes standardized for retrieving wood from prehistoric sites, the potential for absolute dating of these sites is enormous given that abundant wood is archived in locations throughout the Southeast.
  • The Dendroarchaeology Of Cagle Saltpetre Cave: A 19th Century Saltpeter Mining Site In Van Buren County, Tennessee, U.S.A

    Blankenship, Sarah A.; Pike, Meta G.; DeWeese, Georgina G.; Van De Gevel, Saskia L.; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; Department of Anthropology, University of Tennessee; Louisiana Division of Archaeology; Department of Geosciences, University of West Georgia; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Science, Department of Geography, University of Tennessee (Tree-Ring Society, 2009-01)
    During the historic mining episodes at Cagle Saltpetre Cave, wooden leaching vats needed for the lixiviation of calcium nitrate from mined sediments (from which saltpeter was then produced) were constructed and used in the cave. When mining operations ceased, these features were abandoned and preserved in situ, some remaining virtually intact. Their remarkable preservation enabled tree-ring dating of timbers associated with these vats to be accomplished. Tree rings from oak planks used in the construction of the leaching vats were measured to 0.001 mm precision on a Velmex measuring system. Using COFECHA software, we crossdated the measurement series to both the Norris Dam State Park and Piney Creek Pocket Wilderness white oak reference chronologies, spanning the years from 1633 to 1982, obtained from the International Tree-Ring Data Bank. Graphical comparisons via scatter plots were inspected to ensure correct temporal placements. The final chronology developed from 39 dated series correlated very highly with the Norris Dam State Park reference chronology (r = 0.49, n = 170 yrs, t = 7.29, p < 0.0001) and verified that our site chronology extends from 1692 to 1861. The results of our analyses indicate that saltpeter was mined and processed at the site during separate episodes throughout the 19th Century. Additionally, saltpeter-processing technology changed throughout the course of the mining operations.