Dendrochronology is the study of tree dating as a method of investigating the impact of climate change, hydrology, fire and other environmental factors on tree growth. By extracting a pencil-thin core from the base of a tree trunk, a scientist can read the parallel lines (tree rings) to interpret the age of the tree; and identify years of optimal and poor growth by measuring the width of the rings.

The site of this study is on Sycamore Island located on the Allegheny River near Blawnox, PA. Sycamore Island is a 14-acre island, which was acquired by Allegheny Land Trust in 2008. Upon being purchased by Allegheny Land Trust, a local non-profit organization that protects natural resources in and around Allegheny County, the island has been cleaned of debris and planted with native plants. In 2013, we extracted cores from American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) trees. The data from this study helps determine which environmental factors have historically controlled tree growth on Sycamore Island.
Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences Conference Poster (2013)
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