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Eastern Hemlock

Latin name:
Tsuga canadensis

Extracted from a waterfront pier near Wilmington, Delaware, the tree used to make this portion of the pier
actually came from a forest located in central Pennsylvania. The outermost tree ring dates to the late 1830s.

Giant Sequoia

Latin name:
Sequoiadendron giganteum

A close up of numerous fire scars on a giant sequoia cross section from Sequoia National Park in California, dating back well prior to A.D. 1000. Look closely! Can you find the sad bearded face cradled by his hands, as if he was crying?

Douglas-fir

Latin name:
Pseudotsuga menziesii

This photo shows the tree rings from a beam extracted many years ago from a pueblo in northeastern Arizona. The section shows many false rings and many micro-rings, suggesting this tree may have been growing in a marginal environment.

Ponderosa Pine

Latin name:
Pinus ponderosa

Close up of tree rings of a ponderosa pine collected at El Malpais National Monument in New Mexico, USA, showing tree rings centered around A.D. 1400. Notice the variability in ring widths indicative of sensitivity to year-to-year variation in precipitation.

Douglas-fir

Latin name:
Pseudotsuga menziesii

Perhaps my most requested image of tree rings, obtained from a small Douglas-fir growing in the Zuni Mountains of west-central New Mexico by my colleagues Rex Adams and Chris Baisan. Not very old, but has some of the most beautiful rings of all my displays!

White Oak

Latin name:
Quercus alba

Oak cores from the Hoskins House in Greensboro, North Carolina, site of a famous battle during the Revolutionary War. The house was built from trees cut in 1811 to 1813, not cut and built in the 1780s as the historical agency had hoped.

Ponderosa Pine

Latin name:
Pinus ponderosa

This ponderosa pine once grew at El Morro National Monument in New Mexico, USA, and was cut many years ago. Once you get up close to the stump, you can see a very old scar from a fire many hundreds of years ago that scarred the tree when it only about 12 years old!

Bahamian Pine

Latin name:
Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis

We collected many cross sections of Bahamian pines that had been cut for an industrial park on the island of Abaco, but the rings are very difficult to date! Many false rings, and the pine appears to terminate tree growth during the dry season.

Longleaf Pine

Latin name:
Pinus palustris

This cross section was one of many that came from an old crib dam across a creek that was exposed after a modern dam broke in Hope Mills, North Carolina in 2003. Such sections from old-growth longleaf pines are very rare and provide information on climate back to AD 1500!

White Oak

Latin name:
Quercus alba

Sometimes you don't have to look far to find beauty in wood, and sometimes it may not be a living tree! After an oak tree was cut a year or two before this section was obtained, decay fungi had already set in, beginning to break the wood down to its basic elements.

Southwestern White Pine

Latin name:
Pinus strobiformis

I collected this fire-scarred pine on Mt. Graham in southern Arizona in fall 1991, and it remains one of the best examples of how we can determine the season of fire by looking at the position of the scar within the ring.

Bristlecone Pine

Latin name:
Pinus longaeva

Bristlecone pines have become one of the best proxy records for those who study the history of volcanic eruptions because the cool temperatures caused by these eruptions create "frost rings" that form when the cells implode from the cold.

Eastern Redcedar

Latin name:
Juniperus virginiana

Many well-preserved eastern redcedar sections have been recovered from prehistoric sites in eastern Tennessee, and they have more than enough rings to date, but we don't have a long enough living-tree reference chronology to overlap with them!

Red Oak

Latin name:
Quercus rubra

Oak is by far the most common genus we find in the many historic structures we date using tree rings in the Southeastern U.S. The genus has good ring variability and rarely has problem rings. This section came from a historic tavern in Lexington, Virginia.

Sugar Maple

Latin name:
Acer saccharum

Maple, birch, beech, and basswood are all examples of hardwood species that form diffuse porous wood, meaning that the ring contains many small-diameter vessels all through the ring. Identifying the ring boundary on this wood type is a challenge to tree-ring scientists.

Live Oak

Latin name:
Quercus virginiana

Live oak is an example of an evergreen oak, which is not common within this genus. As such, the wood is semi-ring porous and the rings are very difficult to see and date. Ring growth is also very erratic, not forming the concentric around the tree that we require.

Douglas-fir

Latin name:
Pseudotsuga menziesii

These cores were collected on Mt. Graham in southern Arizona and show a major suppression event beginning in 1685 when missing rings became evident, followed by many micro-rings. This suppression was caused by a major wildfire in 1685!

Ponderosa Pine

Latin name:
Pinus ponderosa

I find it amazing what trees can record in their tree rings! Here we see a cross section of a pine that was damaged by a major flood in the year 1945 in the Chiricahua Mountains of southern Arizona. Notice the reaction wood that formed afterward.

Pignut Hickory

Latin name:
Carya glabra

Sometimes gray-scale imagery helps define tree rings when measuring. Although classified as "ring porous" species, the rather ill-defined tree rings in hickory tree species form large earlywood vessels and smaller latewoood vessels.

Subalpine Fir

Latin name:
Abies lasiocarpa

Decay has set in on the tree rings of this dead and downed subalpine fir that once grew on Apex Mountain in British Columbia, Canada, but the tree rings can still be measured and crossdated despite this!

White Fir

Latin name:
Abies concolor

We found a beautiful fire scar on this white fir that was used to build a cabin in the Valles Caldera of New Mexico. Thought to have been built in the early 1900s, we instead found the cabin was built form white fir and Douglas-fir trees cut in 1941.

Overcup Oak

Latin name:
Quercus lyrata

These oak cores were collected in northeastern Arkansas to investigate a change in the hydrologic regime of a wildlife refuge beginning in the 1990s. We found that trees at this site experienced a major disturbance event in the 1960s.

Western Juniper

Latin name:
Juniperus occidentalis

Near Frederick Butte in central Oregon, we discovered an unusual stand of western junipers that had the most unusual lobate growth forms we had ever seen. This site yielded a drought-sensitive chronology dating back to the AD 800s!

West Indies Pine

Latin name:
Pinus occidentalis

Above 3000 meters on the highest peak in the Carribean, we found an entire forest of these pines, many with fire scars, living on a steep rocky slope. The forest looked more like the dry ponderosa pine forests of the western U.S.

Whitebark Pine

Latin name:
Pinus albicaulis

Whitebark pines growing in the northern Rockies of the western U.S. can grow to be over 1,000 years old, but the species is slowly being decimated by the introduced white pine blister rust. Many of these ancient trees are now dead with ghostly white trunks.

Shagbark Hickory

Latin name:
Carya ovata

Curiously, tree-ring scientists rarely analyze some of the more common hardwood species in the eastern U.S., such as this hickory, perhaps because such forest interior trees may contain a weak climate signal necessary for crossdating.

Virginia Pine

Latin name:
Pinus virginiana

Blue stain found in many sections of dead pines (both in the western and eastern U.S.) is caused by a fungus carried by a pine beetle. The fungus spreads into the phloem and sapwood of living and dead pines, sometimes creating stunning patterns!

Pinyon Pine

Latin name:
Pinus edulis

Burned sections of pinyon pine are commonly found in archaeological sites in the southwestern U.S. These sections can be carefully broken or surfaced with a razor to reveal the ring structure inside to assist in dating the years of construction of the site.

Red Spruce

Latin name:
Picea rubens

Conifers in the highest elevations of the Appalachians of the eastern U.S., such as this red spruce, don't experience wildfires very often, but when fires do occur, they can create numerous fire scars even in this fire-intolerant species. Notice the growth release!

White Spruce

Latin name:
Picea glauca

This tree was located in the Canadian Rockies on the toe slope of an active avalanche path. The scar was created by a debris flow or snow avalanche which struck the tree, killing a section of the living tissue. The avalanche can therefore be dated to its exact year!

Engelmann Spruce

Latin name:
Picea engelmannii

I worked considerably in the spruce-fir forests of southern Arizona in my earliest years in dendrochronology, and learned that trees with limited sensitivity can provide a vast amount of information on the history of these forests.

Pondrosa Pine

Latin name:
Pinus ponderosa

The lava flows of El Malpais National Monument in New Mexico contain vast amounts of remnant wood, mostly ponderosa pines such as this sample, and the tree rings on these samples go back nearly 2000 years! Notice the year AD 1400 on this section.

Chestnut oak

Latin name:
Quercus montana

In the southeastern U.S., hardwood species are often scarred by wildfire. Most often, this also will cause considerable decay in the sample, but this oak had several well preserved fire scars, suggesting fire was common in these drier, lower elevation sites.

Pondrosa Pine

Latin name:
Pinus ponderosa

I originally sampled this stump in 1991 for its fire scars, located in El Malpais National Monument of New Mexico. I found it again 20 years later and was happy you could see the tree rings and fire scars clearly! It had originally been logged in the 1930s!

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  27. "Nice job on the website.  I find re-writing websites quite therapeutic - leaves you feeling all clean and organised!"
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  28. "Wow, Henri! I thought the old web pages were pretty great, but the new ones are amazing! I very much like your choice of music on the homepage, and I like the color scheme. Thanks very much for all the work you put into the web pages. I refer people of all levels of interest to them all the time. It's great to have this resource and I think you've really helped keep our field as close-knit as it is."
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  33. "Thanks so much Henri to your work and devotion to this real service to our
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  34. "Absolutely beautiful. It's very artistic and still highly educational. Very easy to navigate, too. Nice touch with the rolling images and music. The colors are great, as well. Well done!!
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  54. "Thank you so much for this great resource. I have personally been reading your pages for close to 8 years now (I am going to starting a Ph.D. in Minnesota using the tree ring record to monitor the effects of recent climate change on forest productivity in northern forests), and I really would like to support the page any way I possibly can."
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  56. "Thank you for a great website! It's the best I have ever encountered, and the videos are a real bonus."
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  57. "First of all, our group admires your wonderful "Ultimate Tree-Ring Pages."
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  59. "I'm browsing through your "Ultimate Tree-Ring Web Pages" and already found lots of very useful information. Thanks for investing time in compiling such a comprehensive web site.
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  63. "I am also very familiar with your outstanding research in tree-rings and your amazing website. I use your website a lot when I am searching for information regarding conferences and workshops in dendrochronology. Your website is indeed a great service to the dendro scientific community."
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  67. "You have an excellent web-site, and I often refer my student to visit your site whenever they like to know something on tree rings."
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  68. "I appreciate your efforts with the tree ring webpage. I was researching used microscopes and fire wire (IEEE-1394) cameras when I came across your page. You made my day. I would never have thought about this application of technology in a million years. Anyway, you helped someone learn something new. How about that?"
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  71. "I have long been a fan and user of your great ultimate tree ring pages."
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  72. "Thank you so much for your work in this field and for the informative website.  We really appreciate it."
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  73. "I read your name first in books and articles, then I saw this great page you had created! It’s really helpful, very useful, and gives concentrated info, especially for newcomers to dendrochronology."
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  74. "You have a terrific web site on tree rings."
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  75. "Your website is by far the most helpful I have come across in my search. Thanks!!!
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  76. "I enjoyed browsing your ultimate tree ring websites!"
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  77. "I have two boys in the Boy Scouts, and I am a scout leader for our troop and pack. As scouts we do a lot of activities in the forest and have many badges that include forestry (we also have forestry badges). To teach the boys about forestry I have used your tree ring photographs on many occasions. Your photo's make it easier to show the kids the basics of tree growth. They are so useful to show the effects of the environment on their growth. Your pictures of fire and flood damaged tree rings are invaluable. I could never find real examples on our camping trips.

    Once we do class room at our meetings I try to follow that up with some hands on activity on our next outing. Your stuff makes for great class room but there's nothing better than getting in the field and have the kids look and touch. That's where real impressions are made and maybe a few memories as well."
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  80. "I came across your website while looking for information on tree ring data.  I’m not a tree expert by any means, just a guy who loves trees.  I found your website to be the best resource available on dendrochronology."
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  85. "I've used your tree-ring website for some time now, and I've found it to be extremely helpful. Thanks for a great resource."
    - Louie Yang, University of California, Santa Barbara

  86. "I'm putting together some of the visual elements for a story we're doing on the drying of the Western United States, and one thing we'd like to look at is the historical climate changes, as derived from tree-ring analysis. Your web site is, needless to say, a great help in understanding all of this."
    - Tom Zeller Jr., National Geographic Magazine

  87. "I am currently doing a unit in forestry and stumbled upon your webpage. I think you did a phenomenal job with it."
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  89. "I’d like to commend you on your web page and your dedication to tree-ring research. I’ve been involved with volume-based tree ring research for approximately four years with the Ontario Government. Our research currently focuses on volume increment and tree shape across boreal Ontario. I found your web-page to be a valuable resource."
    - Daniel Corbett, Ministry of Natural Resources, Thunder Bay, Ontario

  90. "First off, that's a great site there!!! Pretty useful for me when I go camping."
    - Sriram Ravindren, Clemson University

  91. "Thank you so much for making dendrochronology information so easily understood, and accessible. As a volunteer trail guide at a local park, I'll be leading a group of girl scouts through a "reading the rings" exercise soon, and really didn't know where to start. You've taken a complicated subject and made it easy for us neophytes."
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  92. "I've been a great admirer of your multi-faceted work for many years! And your Website continues to be such a wonderful resource."
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  98. "I use this opportunity to thank you for the Ultimate tree-ring site - this is indeed the major source of most useful information for all of us."
    - Olga Solomina, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

  99. "I would like to thank you for the massive amount of work you have done to promote dendro via your website over the last few years, and I for one have benefited enormously from the great source of inspiration and info that you have compiled."
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  100. "I just wanted to take a moment to write and thank you for all the time and hard work you have put into building and maintaining some fantastic websites. Your sites are some of the few academic sites I have found that actually live up to the potential of the web."
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