Some trees are also better than others for study (5). In this article we make the assumption that growth is annual with a distinct growing season.
American Astronomre A E Douglass, who had a strong interest in studying the climate, developed the method around 1900 (4).
He theorised that tree rings could be used as proxy data to extend climate study back further than had previously been permissible.
Most people who enter into studying tree rings typically come from one of several disciplines: Though dendrochronology also has uses for art historians, medieval studies graduates, classicists, ancient and historians due to the necessity to date some of the materials that the fields will be handling in their research projects.
Typically, a bachelor's degree in any of the above disciplines are enough to study the data that comes out of dendrochronology.
Wood is a solid and strong material as we all know, valued for its longevity and strength.
Each season of growth (typically annual but not always, we will examine this problem later) a new ring is set down in the body of the tree.
Alder and pine are notorious for occasionally “missing a year” which is confusing enough without the fact that those species also sometimes “double up”, by having two rings in the same growth season (8).
Birch and willow are not used at all because of the erratic nature of their growth cycle.
This enormous and comprehensive data set is fundamental to both European and North American studies of the palaeoclimate and prehistory (8).
There is one major drawback to dendrochronology and that is that we can only date the rings in the tree.
In each growth season, trees create a new ring that reflects the weather conditions of that growth season.