Dating tree cores

Tree ring data for most areas of the country are now documented by master chronologies spanning hundreds of years, based on timbers of the same tree species, from the same region, with overlapping periods of growth.Oak is the best documented species because it was the one most widely used for the construction of timber-framed buildings in the past.It becomes progressively easier to date timbers the more rings there are and the more samples taken.

Dendrochronology, or 'tree ring dating' as it is often known, can provide an invaluable insight into the history of a building by revealing the year in which the timbers used in its construction were felled.

All the samples are then cross-checked with each other to identify any possible measurement errors and abnormalities before a master curve is prepared based on average tree ring sequences.

and a co-founder of Cathedral Communications Limited.

Students can also infer similar information by using various wooden objects.

This kit uses highly motivating, easily performed activities. Materials in this kit, designed for 30 students, are reusable.

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A project to examine the medieval timber-framed buildings of Kent (1) which was established in 1986 examined 74 buildings across the county and firm results were obtained for 53 of them.

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