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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.

Ponderosa 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.

Ponderosa 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 still see the tree rings and fire scars clearly! It had originally been logged in the 1930s!

Lodgepole Pine

Latin name:
Pinus contorta

This pine is found at higher elevations in the Rocky Mountains of the western U.S. At this site in Montana, we had thought we found fire scars on these pines, but it turns out that these are scars caused by bark beetles stripping away portions of the bark.

Douglas-fir

Latin name:
Pseudotsuga menziesii

These cores illustrate the level of sensitivity to climate fluctuations in Douglas-fir trees growing in El Malpais National Monument in New Mexico. These rings show the common pattern of narrow marker rings between 1800 (on the left) and 1860 (on the right).

Douglas-fir

Latin name:
Pseudotsuga menziesii

This photo shows a close-up of the rings in the previous image. The very wide tree ring is the year 1816, the "Year Without a Summer." Cooler temperatures meant more soil water for the malpais Douglas-firs, causing a wide ring for that year!

Ponderosa Pine

Latin name:
Pinus ponderosa

Dating fire scars found in the annual rings is a major application of tree-ring dating. This photo shows two scars. Notice the wider rings that formed after the upper scar, perhaps caused by removal of competing vegetation or added nutrients.

Longleaf Pine

Latin name:
Pinus palustris

Longleaf pines have the greatest ages of all the eastern pines. They grow slowly in sandy soils of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, and have proven ideal for learning about past climate and disturbance events, if old-growth stands can be located!

Rocky Mountain Juniper

Latin name:
Juniperus scopulorum

The juniper species of the western U.S. have proven a challenge in tree-ring dating, but Rocky Mountain juniper has tree rings that are easily identified and can be crossdated. Just watch out for false rings and expanded latewood!

Douglas-fir

Latin name:
Pseudotsuga menziesii

A close-up photo of tree rings in Douglas-fir reveals the individual wood cells that make up the xylem. These are called "tracheids." Notice the change in cell wall thickness from the earlywood cells to the latewood cells along a radial file of cells.

Douglas-fir

Latin name:
Pseudotsuga menziesii

The best trees for learning about past climate will be those that grow to great ages and are particularly sensitive to year to year changes in climate. This Douglas-fir began growing around the year 200 BC and lived for nearly 1000 years!

Mesquite

Latin name:
Prosopis glandulosa

Some desert species from the mid-latitudes do form annual rings, but these diffuse-porous species have rings that are difficult to see. You can use black marker and white chalk dust to help bring out the rings! The dust fills the small vessels and the rings appear!

Norway Spruce

Latin name:
Picea abies

Spruce is the preferred genus for making high-quality wooden bodies on musical instruments. This photo shows the tree rings on the outer edge of the "Messiah" violin. Analysis of its tree rings helped show that the violin was contemporary with Stradivari!

Black Locust

Latin name:
Robinia pseudoacacia

In the eastern U.S., this common hardwood species has beautiful tree rings that demonstrate the ring porous wood type. The tree species, however, has some of the densest wood found in North America and is extremely difficult to core!

White Oak

Latin name:
Quercus alba

Oak is a major genus used to build log structures in the eastern U.S. Sometimes, however, we find that the individual trees experienced some major disturbances that caused very aberrant rings, making crossdating all but impossible.

Palo Verde

Latin name:
Parkinsonia florida

A common tree species in the American Southwest, palo verde is a diffuse porous species that forms very indistinct tree rings. As a result, little tree-ring research has been performed on this genus. Best to use complete cross sections, when available.

Ponderosa Pine

Latin name:
Pinus ponderosa

A major application of tree-ring research is learning about insect populations. For example, pandora moth defoliated the needles on this tree, causing some narrow rings to be produced. We can use this pattern to learn about insect populations over many centuries!

Table Mountain Pine

Latin name:
Pinus pungens

The analysis of fire scars in tree rings can also be applied to pine species growing in the eastern U.S. Table Mountain pine has proven to be the best species in the Appalachian Mountains for learning about past wildfires!

Subalpine Fir

Latin name:
Abies lasiocarpa

Subalpine fir grows in the highest elevations of the southern Rocky Mountains and forms fairly compacent ring series. Sometime between 1979 and 1980, this tree was stripped almost completely of its bark by a black bear, but it still survived in one small area!

Florida Torreya

Latin name:
Torreya taxifolia

Perhaps the rarest conifer in the U.S., this species is on the brink of extinction because its habitat is facing mounting pressure from rapid changes in its native environment. It forms very nice tree rings, but few adult individuals are left to analyze.

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Here, you'll find books about trees and tree rings, many of which should be in the library of every dendrochronologist! Your purchase of one or more of these books will provide a small royalty that will help ensure I can keep these web pages updated and maintained for years to come. Clicking on a link below will simply take you to the Amazon.com web site where you can read more about the book and then decide whether or not to purchase the book. These books should be available (as of 06 December 2016). If a price is listed in the frame box, then it's available. If no price is listed, it's because you have options on the type of book you can purchase (ebook, for example). I'll check from time to time to make sure these are still for sale, either new or used. If you know of a book available through Amazon.com that you think should be listed here, please let me know.

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Books about Tree-Ring Research
Books with Tree-Ring Applications
Search for Used Books
Books about Trees
Books about Wildfires

Books about Tree-Ring Research

Dendroclimatic Studies: Tree Growth and Climate Change in Northern Forests (2014)
Dendroclimatology: Progress and Prospects (2010)
Fundamentals of Tree Ring Research (2010)
Tree Rings and Natural Hazards: A State-of-Art (2010)
The Tree Rings' Tale: Understanding Our Changing Climate (2009)

Tree-Rings, Kings and Old World Archaeology and Environment (2009)
Tree Rings and Climate (2001)
An Introduction to Tree-Ring Dating (1996)
Growth Dynamics of Conifer Tree Rings: Images of Past and Future Environments (2006)
Tree Ring Analysis: Biological, Methodological and Environmental Aspects (1999)

Dendroclimatic Changes in Semiarid America (1956)
Methods of Dendrochronology: Applications in the Environmental Sciences (1990)
Dendroökologische Holzanatomie (2001)
Time, Trees, and Prehistory (1999)
A Slice Through Time: Dendrochronology and Precision Dating (1997)

Tree Rings, Art, Archaeology: Proceedings of a Conference (2011)
Climate from Tree Rings (1982)
Atlas of Woody Plant Stems: Evolution, Structure, and Environmental Modifications (2011)
Tree Rings: Basics and Applications of Dendrochronology (2007)
Tree Rings, Environment and Humanity (1996)

The Past Climate of Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, Reconstructed from Tree Rings (1982)
Wood Structure and Environment (2010)
Trees and Wood in Dendrochronology (1993)
Timber: The Dating of Roof Timbers at Lincoln Cathedral (2001)
Applications of Tree-ring Studies: Current Research in Dendrochronology (1987)

Tree-Ring Dating and Archaeology (1982)
The Architecture and Dendrochronology of Chetro Ketl, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico (1983)
Tree Rings and Telescopes: The Scientific Career of A.E. Douglass (1983)
Andrew Ellicott Douglass and the Role of the Giant Sequoia in the Development of Dendrochronology (2001)
Edmund Schulman and the "Living Ruins" Bristlecone Pines, Tree Rings and Radiocarbon Dating (2007)

Rainfall and Tree Growth in the Great Basin (1938)
Exodus to Arthur: Catastrophic Encounters With Comets (1999)
Reconstructing Large-Scale Climatic Patterns from Tree-Ring Data (1991)
Chronological Analysis of Tsegi Phase Sites in Northeastern Arizona (1970)
Tree-ring dating and archaeology in South Dakota (1971)

Dating prehistoric ruins by tree-rings (1939)
Long-Term Streamflow Records Reconstructed from Tree Rings (1975)
Dendrochronology in Mexico (1966)
The Tree-Ring Record of False Spring in the Southcentral USA (1990)
TREE-RING DATES FROM NEW MEXICO M-N, S, Z (1970)
TREE-RING DATES FROM ARIZONA N-Q (1966)

Books with Tree-Ring Applications

Natural Disturbances and Historic Range of Variation (2016)
The Bristlecone Book: A Natural History of the World's Oldest Trees (2007)
Climate since AD 1500 (1994)
Fire and Climatic Change in Temperate Ecosystems of the Western Americas (2003)
It's About Time: A History of Archaeological Dating in North America (2000)

Natural Climate Variability on Decade-to-Century Time Scales (1996)
Interhemispheric Climate Linkages (2001)
The Historical Ecology Handbook: A Restorationist's Guide to Reference Ecosystems (2005)
Mountain Ecosystems: Studies in Treeline Ecology (2005)
The Anasazi in a Changing Environment (1988)

Eastern Old-Growth Forests: Prospects For Rediscovery And Recovery (1996)
Zuni and the Courts: A Struggle for Sovereign Land Rights (1995)
Dating Undated Medieval Charters (2002)
Growth Trends in European Forests: Studies from 12 Countries (1996)
Biotic Feedbacks in the Global Climatic System (1995)

The Impacts of Climate Variability on Forests (1998)
The Productivity and Sustainability of Southern Forest Ecosystems in a Changing Environment (1996)
Fire in Ecosystems of Boreal Eurasia (1996)
Abrupt Climatic Change: Evidence and Implications (1987)
Process Modeling of Forest Growth Responses to Environmental Stress (2003)

Storm over a Mountain Island: Conservation Biology and the Mt. Graham Affair (1995)
El Nino: Historical and Paleoclimatic Aspects of the Southern Oscillation (1992)
Science in archaeology: a comprehensive survey of progress and research (1965)
The Archaeology of Cathedrals (1996)
Isotopes in Palaeoenvironmental Research (2006)

Fossil Plants and Spores: Modern Techniques (1999)
Climatic Change (1953)
Past Climates: Tree Thermometers, Commodities, and People (1983)
Kin Kletso: A Pueblo III Community in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico (1964)
The Last Refuge of the Mt. Graham Red Squirrel: Ecology of Endangerment (2009)

Books about Trees

Identifying Wood: Accurate Results With Simple Tools (1990)
North American Terrestrial Vegetation (1999)
Whitebark Pine Communities: Ecology And Restoration (2001)
Maintaining Biodiversity in Forest Ecosystems (2000)
Alpine Plants of the Northwest: Wyoming to Alaska (2013)

Biogeography: Introduction to Space, Time, and Life (2001)
Paleoclimatology: Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary (1999)
Romeyn B. Hough: The Woodbook (2013)
The Theory of Island Biogeography (2001)
Ecology and Biogeography of Pinus (2001)

The Longleaf Pine Ecosystem: Ecology, Silviculture, and Restoration (2007)
A Field Guide to Eastern Trees (1998)
A Field Guide to Western Trees (1998)
Ancient Forests: A Closer Look at Fossil Wood (2006)
Physiology of Woody Plants (2011)

Conifers of California (1999)
Wood Formation in Trees (2007)
Texas Trees: A Friendly Guide (1988)
Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast (2016)

Know Your Woods: A Complete Guide to Trees, Woods, and Veneers (1975)
Tree Identification Book : A New Method for the Practical Identification and Recognition of Trees (1973)
What Wood Is That? A Manual of Wood Identification (1969)
The Shrub Identification Book (1973)
Trees of the Southeastern United States (2000)

Tropical and Subtropical Trees: A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide (2004)
The Ecology and Silviculture of Oaks (2010)
The Trees of Florida: A Reference and Field Guide (1998)
Forest Measurements, Fifth Edition (2015)
Wild Trees of Idaho (1996)

The Encyclopedia of Wood, New Edition: A Tree by Tree Guide (2005)
Forest Canopies, Second Edition (2004)
Shrubs and Trees of the Southwest Uplands (1976)
Colorado Trees & Wildflowers: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Plants (2000)
The Encyclopedia of North American Trees (2002)

Forensic Botany: Principles and Applications to Criminal Casework (2004)
Forest Dynamics and Disturbance Regimes: Studies from Temperate Evergreen-Deciduous Forests (2002)
Forest Fragmentation in the Southern Rocky Mountains (1999)
The Fragmented Forest: Island Biogeography Theory and the Preservation of Biotic Diversity (1984)
Ecophysiology of Coniferous Forests (1994)

Looking for Longleaf: The Fall and Rise of an American Forest (2006)
Tropical Forests: Paths of Destruction and Regeneration in the Late Twentieth Century (2005)
Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest: A Traveler's Journal (2016)
Heartwood and Tree Exudates (1987)
Tree Growth and Environmental Stresses (1979)

World Checklist and Bibliography of Conifers (1998)
Silvics of North America, Vol. 1: Conifers (1990)
The Growing Tree (1984)
Spiral Grain and Wave Phenomena in Wood Formation (1988)
Inside Wood: Masterpiece of Nature (1970)

Ecological Restoration of Southwestern Ponderosa Pine Forests (2003)
A Field Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of the Southern Appalachians (1994)
Trees of the Southeastern United States (2000)
Foundations of Tropical Forest Biology: Classic Papers with Commentaries (2001)
Vegetation Dynamics on the Mountains and Plateaus of the American Southwest (2015)

Books about Wildfires

The Year Yellowstone Burned: A Twenty-Five-Year Perspective (2015)
The Fire Line: The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots (2016)
Natural and Prescribed Fire in Pacific Northwest Forests (1990)
Between Two Fires: A Fire History of Contemporary America (2015)
Fire Ecology in Rocky Mountain Landscapes (2009)

Living with Fire: Fire Ecology and Policy for the Twenty-first Century (2008)
The Ecology of Fire (1995)
Fire, Chaparral, and Survival in Southern California (2008)
Fire Ecology of Pacific Northwest Forests (1996)
Young Men and Fire (1992)

Fire Effects on Ecosystems (1998)
Forgotten Fires: Native Americans and the Transient Wilderness (2002)
Fire, Native Peoples, and the Natural Landscape (2002)
Fire and Vegetation Dynamics: Studies from the North American Boreal Forest (1996)
Introduction to Wildland Fire (1996)

Fire Ecology: United States and Southern Canada (1982)
Mimicking Nature's Fire: Restoring Fire-Prone Forests in the West (2005)
Forest Fires: A Reference Handbook (2005)
The Tillamook: A Created Forest Comes of Age (2003)
Fire in America: A Cultural History of Wildland and Rural Fire (1997)

Flames in Our Forest: Disaster Or Renewal? (2002)
Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, Its People, and the Deadliest Fire in American History (2002)
Forest Fires: Behavior and Ecological Effects (2001)
Los Alamos: Wildfires (2003)
Fire on the Mountain: The True Story of the South Canyon Fire (2000)
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