Tree-ring dating, or dendrochronology, is the study of the chronological sequence of annual growth rings in trees. This book--a seminal study in its field--provides a simple yet eloquent introduction to the discipline, explaining what a dendrochronologist does both in the field and in the laboratory. Authors Stokes and Smiley first explain the basic principles of tree-ring dating, then describe details of the process, step by step, from the time a sample is collected until it is incorporated into a master chronology. The book focuses on coniferous evergreens of the Southwest, particularly piñons, because they have wide geographic distribution, constitute a large population, and show excellent growth response to certain controlling factors. The book is specifically concerned with the task of establishing a calendar date for a wood or charcoal specimen. This concise but thorough explication of an important discipline will make dendrochonology more meaningful to students and professionals in archaeology, forestry, hydrology, and global change.
The late Terah L. Smiley was formerly the head of the geosciences department at the University of Arizona.