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.

The Tree-Ring Society and the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona partnered with the University Libraries to digitize back issues for improved searching capabilities and long-term preservation. New issues are added on an annual basis, with a rolling wall of five years.


Contact the Editor of Tree-Ring Research at editor@treeringsociety.org.

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Recent Submissions

  • Limb: A Mini-Borer for Sampling Small Diameter Trees

    Hallman, Christine; Parkinson, Scott; Adams, Rex; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721; Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ 85704 (Tree-Ring Society, 2006)
    The dimensions, manufacture and application of a mini-borer to take 3-mm cores are described. This new instrument seems particularly well-suited to determining ages of saplings in situations where collection of cross-sections and coring with standard increment borers are too destructive, and where node-counting may not be sufficiently accurate. The design has resulted in trouble-free use in the field, and the mini-cores can be stored in the straws, and mounted and sanded in the core mounts used for collections of the standard 4-5-mm increment cores.
  • Dendrochronological Potential of Salix Alaxensis from the Kuujjua River Area, Western Canadian Arctic

    Zalatan, R.; Gajewski, K.; Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1Z2 Canada; Laboratory for Paleoclimatology and Climatology, Department of Geography, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, K1N 6N5 Canada (Tree-Ring Society, 2006)
    This study presents the first annually-resolved chronology using Salix alaxensis (Anderss.) Cov from Victoria Island, Northwest Territories, Canada, an area well north of treeline. Forty-one samples were collected and examined for subsequent analysis. However, crossdating was difficult because of locally absent or missing rings and the narrowness of the rings, and ultimately thirteen stems were crossdated and used to evaluate their dendroclimatological potential. The chronology spans 74 years (1927-2000) and could potentially be extended further using subfossil wood. Precipitation data from December of the previous year to March of the current year were the most consistently and highly correlated with ring width. This suggests that the recharge of the soil moisture by early summer snowmelt is a key factor limiting growth of these shrubs.
  • Growth Reactions of Sub-Alpine Norway Spruce (Picea Abies (L.) Karst) Following One-Sided Light Exposure (Case Study at Davos "Lusiwald")

    Bräker, Otto U.; Baumann, Ernst; Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Birmensdorf, Switzerland (Tree-Ring Society, 2006)
    In 1982, several rectangular openings were cut in a 100 year old sub-alpine Norway spruce forest stand to initiate regeneration at the Lusiwald site at Davos, Switzerland. The openings on the steep, north-facing slope created rapid changes to the environment of the border trees. Growth reactions of these border trees were compared and analysed with reference trees from the adjacent closed canopy stand in 1997. The radial growth pattern of the two data sets differed within the 14-year period since the openings were cut; the border trees showed growth releases. The growth reaction at the stem base was larger than at breast height. Changes in wind exposure may have influenced border trees to adapt their root systems. Sub-alpine Norway spruce stands aged around 100 years, which are usually considered slow-growing on a north aspect, still seem capable of reacting to greater resource availability such as sudden light changes.
  • Tree-Rings and the Aging of Trees: A Controversy in 19th Century America

    Briand, Christopher H.; Brazer, Susan E.; Harter-Dennis, Jeannine M.; Department of Biological Sciences, Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD 21801; Blackwell Library, Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD 21801; Department of Agriculture, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD 21853 (Tree-Ring Society, 2006)
    During the late 19th Century there was considerable debate in the United States among members of the legal profession, the general public and even some scientists about the validity of using tree rings to determine tree age. In an earlier boundary dispute case in Maryland (1830) the Honorable Theodorick Bland rejected the use of tree rings to establish the date when a purported witness tree was marked with an identifying blaze. Bland did not believe that there was enough scientific evidence or legal precedent to support this idea. A review of the current scientific literature of the time, however, indicates that most scientists, especially in Europe, accepted that tree rings could be used to determine age. In the United States, however, this idea was debated, particularly in the late 19th Century, in both the popular press and scientific publications. The main argument of opponents such as A. L. Child was that the number of tree rings was often wildly in excess of the known age of the tree. These inconsistencies were likely because of the inexperience of the observer, mistaking earlywood and latewood for separate rings, and the presence of a small number of false rings, sometimes called secondary rings. The great ages reported for the giant sequoias may have also raised doubts among the public. Among scientists, however, the relationship between ring number and tree age and between ring width and climate became widely accepted. Several cases heard in both Federal and State Courts as well as Bernhard E. Fernow’s Age of Trees and Time of Blazing Determined by Annual Rings laid to rest any doubt of the relationship between tree rings and age in temperate forests, i.e. one ring equals one year’s growth, and showed that the date when a witness tree was blazed could be easily determined from a cross-section of the trunk.
  • Decoupling Tree-Ring Signatures of Climate Variation, Fire, and Insect Outbreaks in Central Oregon

    Pohl, Kelly A.; Hadley, Keith S.; Arabas, Karen B.; Department of Geography, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97207; Department of Environmental and Earch Sciences, Willamette University, Salem, OR 97301 (Tree-Ring Society, 2006)
    Dendroecological methods play a critical role in developing our understanding of forest processes by contributing historical evidence of climate variability and the temporal characteristics of disturbance. We seek to contribute to these methods by developing a research protocol for decoupling radial-growth signatures related to climate, fire, and insect outbreaks in central Oregon. Our methods are based on three independent, crossdated tree-ring data sets: 1) a 545-year tree-ring climate reconstruction, 2) a 550-year fire history, and 3) a 250-year pandora moth outbreak history derived from host (Pinus ponderosa) and non-host (Abies grandis-Abies concolor) tree-ring chronologies. Based on these data, we use visual criteria (marker and signature rings), statistical comparisons, and Superposed Epoch Analysis (SEA) to identify the timing of growth anomalies and establish the temporal relationships between drought, climate variation (ENSO and PDO), fire events, and pandora moth (Coloradia pandora) outbreaks. Our results show pandora moth outbreaks generally coincide with periods of below-average moisture, whereas fire in central Oregon often follows a period of wetter than average conditions. Fire events in central Oregon appear to be related to shifts in hemispheric climate variability but the relationship between fire and pandora moth outbreaks remains unclear.
  • In Memoriam- Robert E. Bell

    Dean, Jeffrey S. (Tree-Ring Society, 2006)
  • In Memoriam- Henry N. Michael

    Tree-Ring Society, 2006
  • Lost and Found: the Bristlecone Pine Collection

    Hallman, Christine; Harlan, Tom; Arnott, Howard; Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721; The Center for Electron Microscopy, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019 (Tree-Ring Society, 2006)
  • Age Dependence of Spiral Grain in White Oaks (Quercus Alba L.) in Southwestern Illinois

    Rauchfuss, Julia; Speer, James H.; Department of Geography, Geology, and Anthropology, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN 47809 (Tree-Ring Society, 2006)
    Dendrochronologists have used the presence of spiral grain as an indicator of old trees for most of the history of the field, although this relationship has been little studied. We examined cross-sections from dead trees and used a 12-mm Haglof Swedish Increment borer to collect cores from living white oak (Quercus alba L.) trees in an Eastern Deciduous Forest stand in southwestern Illinois. Spiral grain is the alignment of wood fibers to the longitudinal axis of trees and is driven by patterns of initial cambial cell division. In this study, we examine environmental factors that may affect spiral grain severity, the usefulness of non-destructive sampling methods (using the 12-mm increment borer), and the relationship between tree age and spiral grain. We tested Brazier’s method (1965) of averaging the spiral grain angle from two radii taken 180 degrees apart (i.e. one diameter in the tree) to get representative grain angles for the whole circumference of a tree at a certain height. The 12-mm increment borer did not produce consistent results in this study; therefore, the collection of cross-sections is advised for the study of spiral grain in white oaks. Brazier’s method should not be used in white oaks and should not be applied universally to all tree species. The severity of spiral grain is expressed in the xylem and may not be expressed in the bark of the tree. Left spiral grain does generally increase in white oaks with age, although this relationship is not always consistent, so a tree without severe spiral grain is not necessarily young.
  • Root-Zone Hydrology: Why Bald-Cypress in Flooded Wetlands Grow More When It Rains

    Davidson, Gregg R.; Laine, Brian C.; Galicki, Stanley J.; Threlkeld, Stephen T.; University of Mississippi, Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, University, MS 38677; Millsaps College, Jackson, MS 39210; University of Mississippi, Department of Biology, University, MS 38677 (Tree-Ring Society, 2006)
    Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) is known to respond to increases in precipitation with increased radial growth even when rooted in continuously saturated sediments where water is not a growth-limiting factor. Measurements of δ¹⁸O, Cl⁻, ³H and hydraulic head in surface water and shallow groundwater in an oxbow lake-wetland in northern Mississippi show that rapid downward flow of surface water into the root zone is initiated only after precipitation-induced increases in surface water depth exceed a threshold value. Rapid flow of surface water through the root zone has the potential to introduce oxygen to sediments that would otherwise be anoxic, facilitating nutrient uptake and growth. Climatic reconstruction using tree rings from bald cypress in this environment appears possible because increases in precipitation generally correlate well with increases in water level, which in turn enhances the delivery of oxygenated water to the roots.