Historical Dating

Part of our work in Ohio involves dating wooden historical structures using dendrochronology at the request of owners. We examine cores taken from the structure and compare them to previously dated tree ring chronologies in order to determine the calendar year the structure must have been built.

In addition to helping us date the structure, the tree-ring series are also records of past climate change, drought in particular. We can use the data we receive in combination with that of other houses to model past drought in Ohio and show past climate change across North America over the last few centuries.

Dr. Wiles using a hollow drill bit to extract a core.

After collecting samples, we analyze the tree-rings at our lab and then provide the home-owner with a comprehensive report containing the findings of our work. Typically the report will include a brief statement of methods, a summary of the dates on each beam, and a list of references to learn more about the work.

If you are interested in having a structure dated, contact Dr. Greg Wiles at gwiles@wooster.edu for more information. Please also view our brochure for more information about our services.

You can view a list of reports on structures we’ve dated. You can also view a sample report.

View dating reports on OpenWorks…

Map of tree ring sample sites from all regions of Ohio
A Google Earth map of the historical structures dated by COW Tree Ring Lab.


Below is a video clip from the television program Our Ohio showing some of our dating work.

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