Reading about Dendrochronology
Below you'll find what I feel are classic references about tree-ring research. If you're looking for basic information about tree rings (for example, how to date tree rings), start with the general references below. One of these books should suit your needs - they range from easy-to-read books for all ages to more technical books for more advanced scientists. If you're interested in finding a reference about a more specific topic (for example, about the bristlecone pines), scroll down to the specific references. I've also added sections to this page to help those interested in learning about particular subjects in dendrochronology, such as dating fire scars from tree rings. To conduct a comprehensive search on any particular topic (or by author, keyword, or site information), please visit the online Dendrochronology Bibliographic Database.
Dendroclimatology: El Niño
Dendroclimatology: Carbon Dioxide Fertilization
Dendroecology: Air Pollution, Water Pollution, and Forest Decline
Dendroecology: Stand Dynamics and History
If you are interested in any of the books listed below, be sure to check out my tree-ring bookstore to see if they're still available for sale, either used or new!
James H. Speer (2010). Tucson, Arizona; University of Arizona Press. ISBN 978-0-8165-2684-0. The first book in over 40 years that helps explain the basics of tree-ring science, from the history of the field, to basic field techniques, to all the major applications. Great pictures throughout and this book will be a must-have in the libraries of all dendrochronologists. Will likely become the most cited book ever in our field. Easy to read, for beginners, but appealing to experts as well.
Serge Payette and Louise Filion, editors (2011). Presses de l'Université Laval. ISBN 978-2-7637-9086-2. Editors Serge Payette and Louise Filion bring together 26 chapters by 46 authors, all recognized for their expertise in the field of dendroecology. This volume brings together knowledge, often unpublished data and examples that will enable readers to discover and appreciate woody plants which, by simple formation of wood and tree-ring growth, transform into real environmental archives.
Fritz H. Schweingruber (1996). Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, and Paul Haupt Verlag. 609 pp. ISBN 3-258-05458-4. Easily one of the most influential books in all of dendrochronology. The text in Dr. Schweingruber's book is easy to read, much like lecture notes from formal instruction in dendroecology. I especially like the wealth of topics covered as well as the numerous excellent quality pictures throughout. Easy to read, slightly technical in some portions.
Michael G.L. Baillie (1982). Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press. 274 pp. A classic work on the development of the millennial-length oak tree-ring chronology from Ireland and Northern Ireland. Details much of the dissertation work by Dr. Baillie. Easy to read, moderately technical in some portions. Unfortunately, this is out of print, but you should be able to find it in any of several online bookstores.
Edward R. Cook and Leonardas A. Kairiukstis, editors (1990). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. 394 pp. Contains 45 chapters written by the most famous of dendrochronologists, covering all subjects of dendrochronology, including data gathering, statistical analysis, and environmental relations. Moderately to very technical.
Harold C. Fritts (1976 and 2001). Publisher (1976): New York, NY: Academic Press. 567 pp. Publisher (2001): Caldwell, New Jersey: Blackburn Press. Perhaps the most cited reference in all of dendrochronology. Everything you need to know about the climate/tree growth relationship is here, including response functions, reconstructions of climate, and basic tree physiology concerning the formation of annual rings. And, it has been brought back into print by Blackburn Press! Moderately technical.
Malcolm K. Hughes, P.M. Kelly, Jon R. Pilcher, and Valmore C. LaMarche, Jr., editors (1980). New York, New York: Cambridge University Press. 223 pp. Contains some of the classic references in dendrochronology by over 50 authors. This volume is most valuable in its analyses of geographic locations, where dendrochronology has been practiced and where it is feasible. Unfortunately, this book is out of print, but should be available at most university libraries. Moderately technical.
Michele Kaennel and Fritz H. Schweingruber (1995). Berne, Switzerland: Paul Haupt Publishers. 467 pp. A wealth of information, this book contains several hundred definitions of terms used in dendrochronology, and provides German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian translations! Contains many references, figures, and a list of species. Easy to read, for all age classes.
Fritz H. Schweingruber (1987). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: D. Reidel Publishing Company. 276 pp. Beautifully illustrated, this book is well written and easily understandable by those in all levels of education. Literally covers all topics related to dendrochronology. Easy to read, for all age classes.
Fritz H. Schweingruber (1993). Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag. 402 pp. This book provides enormous information, using numerous photographs, on the "...morphological, anatomical, and tree-ring analytical characteristics of trees frequently used in dendrochronology." Easy to read, only moderately difficult in some portions. Available still from the publisher.
Marvin A. Stokes and Terah L. Smiley (1968 and 1996). Publisher (1968): Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press. 73 pp. Publisher (1996): Tucson, Arizona: The University of Arizona Press. Another of the most cited references, this book provides well-illustrated information about the very basics of dendrochronology, for example, mounting cores and creating skeleton plots. Easy to read, for all age classes.
Frank W. Telewski and Ann M. Lynch (1991). In Lassoie, J.P., and Hinckley, T.M., eds., Techniques and Approaches in Forest Tree Ecophysiology. CRC Press, Boca Raton: 503-555. A wonderful, well-illustrated, general article that will be appealing to a wide variety of people, from high schoolers to university professors. Discusses overall stem growth of trees, measurements of radial growth, stem analysis, cambial marking, instrumentation, and microdensitometry, to name a few subjects. Moderately technical.
Bauch, J., and Eckstein, D. 1981. Wood biological investigations on panels of Rembrandt paintings. Wood Science and Technology 15: 251-263.
Dean, J.S. 1969. Chronological analysis of Tsegi phase sites in northeastern Arizona. Papers of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research 3. The University of Arizona, Tucson. 207 pp.
Douglass, A.E. 1929. The secret of the Southwest solved by talkative tree rings. National Geographic Magazine 56(6): 736-770.
Euler, R.C., Gumerman, G.J., Karlstrom, T.N.V., Dean, J.S., and Hevly, R.H. 1979. The Colorado Plateaus: Cultural dynamics and palaeoenvironment. Science 205: 1089-1101.
Hillam, J. 1998. Dendrochronology: guidelines on producing and interpreting dendrochronological dates. Ancient Monuments Laboratory, Conservation and Technology, English Heritage, London. 35 pp.
Huber, B., and Jazewitsch, W. von 1958. Jahrringuntersuchungen an Pfahlbauhölzern. [Tree-ring investigations on timbers from lake-dwellings.] Flora 146: 445-471.
Morgan, R.A. 1975. The selection and sampling of timber from archaeological sites for identification and tree-ring analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science 2: 221-230.
Stahle, D.W., Cook, E.R., and White, J.W.C. 1985. Tree-ring dating of baldcypress and the potential for millennia-long chronologies in the Southeast. American Antiquity 50(4): 796-802.
Stallings, Jr., W.S. 1960. Dating prehistoric ruins by tree-rings. Laboratory of Anthropology, Santa Fe, New Mexico, General Series, Bulletin 8. 18 pp.
Briffa, K.R., Bartholin, T.S., Eckstein, D., Jones, P.D., Karlén, W., Schweingruber, F.H., Zetterberg, P. 1990. A 1,400-year tree-ring record of summer temperatures in Fennoscandia. Nature 346: 434-439.
Douglass, A.E. 1920. Evidence of climatic effects in the annual rings of trees. Ecology 1(1): 24-32.
Fritts, H.C. 1965. Tree-ring evidence for climatic changes in western North America. Monthly Weather Review 93(7): 421-443.
Fritts, H.C. 1971. Dendroclimatology and dendroecology. Quaternary Research 1: 419-449.
Graumlich, L.J. 1993. A 1000-year record of temperature and precipitation in the Sierra Nevada. Quaternary Research 39(2): 249-255.
Hughes, M.K. 1991. The tree-ring record. In R.S. Bradley, ed., Global Changes of the Past. UCAR, Office for Interdisciplinary Earth Studies, Boulder, Colorado: 117-137
Schulman, E. 1938. Nineteen centuries of rainfall history in the southwest. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 19(5): 211-216.
Schweingruber, F.H. 1996. Dendrochronologie - ein jahrgenauer Massstab zur Entschluesselung der Umwelt- und Menschheitgeschichte. [Dendrochronology - a precise annual measure for the resolution of environmental and human history.] Naturwissenschaften 83: 370-377.
Schweingruber, F.H., Bräker, O.U., and Schär, E. 1979. Dendroclimatic studies on conifers from central Europe and Great Britain. Boreas 8(4): 427-452.
Cook, E.R. 1992. Using tree rings to study past El Niño/Southern Oscillation influences on climate. In Diaz, H.F., and Markgraf, V., eds., El Niño: Historical and Paleoclimatic Aspects of the Southern Oscillation. Cambridge University Press, New York: 203-214.
D'Arrigo, R.D., and Jacoby, G.C. 1991. A 1000-year record of winter precipitation from northwestern New Mexico, USA: a reconstruction from tree-rings and its relation to El Niño and the Southern Oscillation. The Holocene 1(2): 95-101
Lough, J.M., and Fritts, H.C. 1985. The Southern Oscillation and tree rings: 1600-1961. Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology 24(9): 952-966.
Stahle, D.W., and Cleaveland, M.K. 1993. Southern Oscillation extremes reconstructed from tree rings of the Sierra Madre Occidental and southern Great Plains. Journal of Climate 6(1): 129-140.
Swetnam, T.W., and Betancourt, J.L. 1990. Fire-Southern Oscillation relations in the southwestern United States. Science 249: 1017-1020.
Woodhouse, C.A. 1993. Tree-growth response to ENSO events in the central Colorado Front Range. Physical Geography 14(5): 417-435.
Cook, E.R., Francey, R.J., Buckley, B.M., and D'Arrigo, R.D. 1996. Recent increases in Tasmanian huon pine ring widths from a subalpine stand: Natural climate variability, CO2 fertilisation, or greenhouse warming? Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 130(2): 65-72.
Graumlich, L.J. 1991. Subalpine tree growth, climate, and increasing CO2: An assessment of recent growth trends. Ecology 72(1): 1-11.
Hari, P., and Arovaara, H. 1988. Detecting CO2 induced enhancement in the radial increment of trees. Evidence from the northern timber line. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 3: 67-74.
Jacoby G.C., and D'Arrigo R.D. 1997. Tree rings, carbon dioxide, and climatic change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 94(16): 8350-8353.
Kienast, F., and Luxmoore, R.J. 1988. Tree-ring analysis and conifer growth responses to increased atmospheric CO2 levels. Oecologia 76: 487-495
Knapp, P., Soulé, P.T., and Grissino-Mayer, H.D. 2001. Detecting potential regional effects of increased atmospheric CO2 on growth rates of western juniper. Global Change Biology 7(8): 903-917.
LaMarche, Jr., V.C., Graybill, D.A., Fritts, H.C., and Rose, M.R. 1984. Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide: tree ring evidence for growth enhancement in natural vegetation. Science 225: 1019-1021.
Banks, J.C.G. 1991. A review of the use of tree rings for the quantification of forest disturbances. Dendrochronologia 9: 51-70.
Fritts, H.C. 1971. Dendroclimatology and dendroecology. Quaternary Research 1: 419-449.
Fritts, H.C., and Swetnam, T.W. 1989. Dendroecology: A tool for evaluating variations in past and present forest environments. Advances in Ecological Research 19: 111-188.
Ashby, W.C., and Fritts, H.C. 1972. Tree growth, air pollution, and climate near LaPorte, Ind. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 53(3): 246-251.
Baes, III, C.F., and McLaughlin, S.B. 1984. Trace elements in tree rings: evidence of recent and historical air pollution. Science 224: 494-497.
Cogbill, C.V. 1977. The effect of acid precipitation on tree growth in eastern North America. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 8: 89-93.
Cook, E.R., Johnson, A.H., and Blasing, T.J. 1987. Forest decline: modeling the effect of climate in tree rings. Tree Physiology 3: 27-40.
Eckstein, D., and Krause, C. 1989. Dendroecological studies on spruce trees to monitor environmental changes around Hamburg. IAWA Bulletin 10(2): 175-182.
Hagemeyer, J. 1993. Monitoring trace metal pollution with tree rings: A critical reassessment. In B. Markert, ed., Plants as Biomonitors. Indicators for Heavy Metals in the Terrestrial Environment. VCN Weinheim, New York: 541-563.
Innes, J.L. 1992. Forest decline. Progress in Physical Geography 16(1): 1-64.
Nash, III, T.H., Fritts, H.C., and Stokes, M.A 1975. A technique for examining non-climatic variation in widths of annual tree rings with special reference to air pollution. Tree-Ring Bulletin 35: 15-24.
Sutherland, E.K., and Martin, B. 1990. Growth response of Pseudotsuga menziesii to air pollution from copper smelting. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 20: 1020-1030.
Abrams, M.D., Orwig, D.A., and Demeo, T.E. 1995. Dendroecological analysis of successional dynamics for a presettlement-origin white-pine-mixed-oak forest in the southern Appalachians, USA. Journal of Ecology 83: 123-133.
Henry, J.D., and Swan, J.M.A. 1974. Reconstructing forest history from live and dead plant material - an approach to the study of forest succession in southwest New Hampshire. Ecology 55: 772-783.
Foster, D.R. 1988. Disturbance history, community organization and vegetation dynamics of the old-growth Pisgah Forest, south-western New Hampshire, U.S.A. Journal of Ecology 76: 105-134.
Johnson, E.A., and Fryer, G.I. 1989. Population dynamics in lodgepole pine-Engelmann spruce forests. Ecology 70(5): 1335-1345.
Payette, S., and Gagnon, R. 1979. Tree-line dynamics in Ungava peninsula, northern Quebec. Holarctic Ecology 2(4): 239-248.
Savage, M. 1991. Structural dynamics of a southwestern pine forest under chronic human influence. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 81(2): 271-289.
Veblen, T.T., Hadley, K.S., and Reid, M.S. 1991. Disturbance and stand development of a Colorado subalpine forest. Journal of Biogeography 18: 707-716.
Blais, J.R. 1962. Collection and analysis of radial-growth data from trees for evidence of past spruce budworm outbreaks. The Forestry Chronicle 38(4): 474-484.
Brubaker, L.B. 1978. Effects of defoliation by Douglas fir tussock moth on ring sequences of Douglas fir and grand fir. Tree-Ring Bulletin 38: 49-60
Morrow, P.A., and LaMarche, Jr., V.C. 1978. Tree ring evidence for chronic insect suppression of productivity in subalpine Eucalyptus. Science 201: 1244-1246.
Swetnam, T.W., and Lynch, A.M. 1993. Multicentury, regional-scale patterns of western spruce budworm outbreaks. Ecological Monographs 63(4): 399-424.
Swetnam, T.W., Thompson, M.A., and Sutherland, E.K 1985. Using dendrochronology to measure radial growth of defoliated trees. USDA Forest Service Agricultural Handbook No. 639. 39 pp.
Veblen, T.T., Hadley, K.S., Reid, M.S., and Rebertus, A.J. 1991. Methods of detecting past spruce beetle outbreaks in Rocky Mountain subalpine forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 21: 242-254.
Weber, U.M. 1997. Dendroecological reconstruction and interpretation of larch budmoth (Zeiraphera diniana) outbreaks in two central alpine valleys of Switzerland from 1470-1990. Trees 11: 277-290.
Alestalo, J. 1971. Dendrochronological interpretation of geomorphic processes. Fennia 105: 1-140.
Baillie, M.G.L., and Munro, M.A.R. 1988. Irish tree rings, Santorini and volcanic dust veils. Nature 332: 344-346.
Butler, D.R. 1987. Teaching general principles and applications of dendrogeomorphology. Journal of Geological Education 35: 64-70.
Heikkinen, O. 1994. Using dendrochronology for the dating of land surfaces. In C. Beck, ed., Dating in Exposed and Surface Contexts. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque: 213-235.
Shroder, Jr., J.F. 1980. Dendrogeomorphology: review and new techniques of tree-ring dating. Progress in Physical Geography 4(1): 161-188.
Shroder, Jr., J.F., and Butler, D.R. 1987. Tree-ring analysis in the earth sciences. In G.C. Jacoby, Jr. and J.W. Hornbeck, eds. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Ecological Aspects of Tree-Ring Analysis. U.S. Department of Energy, Publication CONF-8608144: 186-212.
Yamaguchi, D.K. 1983. New tree-ring dates for recent eruptions of Mount St. Helens. Quaternary Research 20: 246-250.
Holzhauser, H., and Zumbuehl, H.J. 1996. On the history of the Lower Grindelwald Glacier during the last 2800 years - palaeosols, fossil wood and historical pictorial records - new results. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie 104: 95-127.
Karlén, W. 1984. Dendrochronology, mass balance and glacier front fluctuations in northern Sweden. In N.-A. Moerner and W. Karlén, eds., Climatic Changes on a Yearly to Millennial Basis. D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht: 263-271.
LaMarche, Jr., V.C., and Fritts, H.C. 1971. Tree rings, glacial advance, and climate in the Alps. Zeitschrift für Gletscherkunde und Glazialgeologie 7(1-2): 125-131.
Lawrence, D.B. 1950. Estimating dates of recent glacier advances and recession rates by studying tree growth layers. Transactions, American Geophysical Union 31(2): 243-248.
Luckman, B.H. 1994. Glacier fluctuation and tree-ring records for the last millennium in the Canadian Rockies. Quaternary Science Reviews 12: 441-450.
Luckman, B.H., and Osborn, G.D. 1979. Holocene glacier fluctuations in the middle Canadian Rocky Mountains. Quaternary Research 11: 52-77.
Matthews, J.A. 1977. Glacier and climate fluctuations inferred from tree-growth variations over the last 250 years, central southern Norway. Boreas 6: 1-24.
Sigafoos, R.S., and Hendricks, E.L. 1961. Botanical evidence of the modern history of Nisqually Glacier, Washington. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 387-A: 1-20.
Bégin, Y., and Payette, S. 1988. Dendroecological evidence of lake-level changes during the last three centuries in subarctic Quebec. Quaternary Research 30: 210-220.
Cook, E.R., and Jacoby, G.C. 1983. Potomac River streamflow since 1730 as reconstructed by tree rings. Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology 22(10): 1659-1672.
Harrison, S.S., and Reid, J.R. 1967. A flood-frequency graph based on tree-scar data. Proceedings of the North Dakota Academy of Science 21: 23-33.
Jones, P.D., Briffa, K.R., and Pilcher, J.R. 1984. Riverflow reconstruction from tree rings in southern Britain. Journal of Climatology 4: 461-472.
Stockton, C.W. 1975. Long-term streamflow records reconstructed from tree rings. Papers of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research 5. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson. 111 pp.
Stockton, C.W., and Fritts, H.C. 1973. Long-term reconstruction of water level changes for Lake Athabasca by analysis of tree rings. Water Resources Bulletin 9(5): 1006-1027.
Yanosky, T.M. 1984. Documentation of high summer flows on the Potomac River from the wood anatomy of ash trees. Water Resources Bulletin 20(2): 241-250.
Arno, S.F., and Sneck, K.M. 1977. A method for determining fire history in coniferous forests of the mountain west. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report INT-42. 28 pp.
Baisan, C.H., and Swetnam, T.W. 1990. Fire history on a desert mountain range: Rincon Mountain Wilderness, Arizona, U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 20: 1559-1569.
Bergeron, Y., and Archambault, S. 1993. Decreasing frequency of forest fires in the southern boreal zone of Quebec and its relation to global warming since the end of the 'Little Ice Age.' The Holocene 3(3): 255-259.
Dieterich, J.H., and Swetnam, T.W. 1984. Dendrochronology of a fire-scarred ponderosa pine. Forest Science 30(1): 238-247.
Engelmark, O. 1984. Forest fires in the Maddus National Park (northern Sweden) during the past 600 years. Canadian Journal of Botany 62: 893-898.
Lehtonen, H., and Huttunen, P. 1997. History of forest fires in eastern Finland from the fifteenth century AD - the possible effects of slash-and-burn cultivation. The Holocene 7(2): 223-228.
Swetnam, T.W. 1993. Fire history and climate change in giant sequoia groves. Science 262: 885-889.
The early history of North American dendrochronology:
Nash, S. 1999. Time, Trees, and Prehistory: Tree-Ring Dating and the Development of North American Archaeology, 1914-1950. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City. 294 pp.
The dating of the pueblos in the Southwestern U.S.:
Douglass, A.E. 1929. The secret of the Southwest solved by talkative tree rings. National Geographic Magazine 56(6): 736-770.
Learning the importance of crossdating:
Douglass, A.E. 1941. Crossdating in dendrochronology. Journal of Forestry 39: 825-831.
Effects of the surrounding environment on old-aged trees:
Schulman, E. 1954. Longevity under adversity in conifers. Science 119: 396-399.
The discovery of the oldest known trees, the bristlecone pines:
Schulman, E. 1958. Bristlecone pine, oldest known living thing. National Geographic Magazine 113(3): 354-372.
Standardization techniques using time series analyses:
Cook, E.R. 1985. A time series analysis approach to tree ring standardization. Ph.D. dissertation, The University of Arizona, Tucson. 171 pp.
Assessing the quality of crossdating and measurement of tree rings:
Grissino-Mayer, H.D. 2001. Evaluating crossdating accuracy: A manual and tutorial for the computer program COFECHA. Tree-Ring Research 57(2): 205-221.
Learning to use increment borers:
Phipps, R.L. 1985. Collecting, preparing, crossdating, and measuring tree increment cores. U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4148. 48 pp.
The life and research of Andrew E. Douglass, the founder of dendrochronology:
Webb, G.E. 1983. Tree Rings and Telescopes: The Scientific Career of A.E. Douglass. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press. 242 pp.
Tree and shrub species used in dendrochronology:
Grissino-Mayer, H.D. 1993. An updated list of species used in tree-ring research. Tree-Ring Bulletin 53: 17-45.