New York State and NE North American Dendrochronology Project
The Cornell Tree-Ring Laboratory is working to date historic buildings and build tree ring chronologies as far back in time as possible for Northeastern North America, The project is under the direction of Dr. Carol Griggs, and began with late glacial wood excavated from mastodon sites around New York State. The Late Glacial Period remains the major focus of the project with the discovery, survey, and sample collection from a unique Younger Dryas-Early Holocene deposit in upstate New York. In addition, the project now includes the dating of historic buildings and studying forest environmental history, including modern applications such as recent insect infestation, for the region. An introduction to the project and a field trip for sample collection are now part of the introductory dendro course at Cornell. In addition, the project provides many research opportunities for anyone interested in dendrochronology and all its associated sciences.
We are interested in all wood from the present back to the late Pleistocene. This ranges from historic houses and buildings and structures in New York and Northeast North America to old to very old wood from excavations, ponds, lakes, road cuttings, etc. We have so far worked with oak, hemlock, pine, spruce, elm, larch, ash, maple and beech (and we are happy to try other species). We can arrange to carry out the sampling where appropriate. For historic buildings we can use small cores taken from timbers, and these can be filled and "hidden" if requested. Please see our submitting samples page for more information.
- MILLER, N. G. and GRIGGS, C. B. (2012) Tree macrofossils of Younger Dryas age from Cohoes, New York State, USA. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 49(5):671-680 URL
- THOMPSON, W. B., GRIGGS, C. B., MILLER, N. G., NELSON, R. E., WEDDLE, T. K. and KILIAN, T. M. (2011) Associated terrestrial and marine fossils in the late-glacial Presumpscot Formation, southern Maine, U.S.A., and the marine reservoir effect on radiocarbon ages. Quaternary Research, 75: 552-565 URL
- GRIGGS, C. B. and KROMER, B. (2008) Wood macrofossils and dendrochronology of three mastodon sites in upstate New York IN: Allmon, W. & Nester, P. Mastodon Paleobiology, Taphonomy, and Paleoenvironment in the Late Pleistocene of New York State: Studies on the Hyde Park, Chemung, and Java Sites. URL
The addresses below are links to recent reports on the dendrochronology of historic buildings as of spring 2016.
- Crailo House, Rensselaer, NY
- Mabee Farm, Rotterdam Junction, NY
- Saratoga Historic Park Barns, NY
- Sternberg House, Schoharie, NY
- Beardslee House and Tavern, New Berlin, NY
- Glass Lake Dugout, NY State Museum
- Spooner House, Adams Center, NY
- Gregoire House, Burdett, NY
- Historic Inlet Dock, Ithaca, NY
- Wixson Cabin and Patterson Inn, Corning, NY
- Hull House, Lancaster, NY
- Babcock Barn, Gowanda, NY
- Winkelman House, Gloucester, MA
- Bryant Barstow Wharfs, ME