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Before this, their ancestors would have a recognisable tree form, believed to be that of a giant type of fern that began the process of developing a woody stem.

Wood helps the developing tree to stay strong as it gets older and grows upwards, building new branches and drinking in more sunlight for photosynthesis reproduction.

In each growth season, trees create a new ring that reflects the weather conditions of that growth season.

On its own, a single record can tell us only a little about the environmental conditions of the time in a specific year of the growth of the tree, and of course the age of the tree at felling, but when we put hundreds and thousands of tree-ring records together, it can tell us a lot more.

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.

We can see this in any tree stump, a series of concentric rings circling the heart wood and fanning out towards the edge.

Birch and willow are not used at all because of the erratic nature of their growth cycle. Due to the sweeping and diverse applications of this data, specialists can come from many academic disciplines.There are no degrees in dendrochronology because though it is useful across the board, the method itself is fairly limited.From the 1980s, several seminal studies began at the University of Arizona (6), (7) studying the bristlecone pine of California and hohenheim oak in Germany.Thanks to the work of these studies, we now have an 8,600 year chronology for the bristlecone pine and in the region of 12,500 year chronology for the oak.

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These represent growth patterns that reflect the conditions of the season or the year (4) and it is these rings on which the entire study of dendrochronology is based.