Improving the Accuracy of Tree Ring Age Measurements
Accurate tree ages are critical to forestry and ecological research as well as for management planning. However, ring counts from increment cores, if not corrected for the years between the root collar and coring height, can produce sizeable age errors. Incorrect age estimates are especially problematic in studies where tree establishment dates are used to date past disturbances. NRS Scientist Shawn Fraver developed regression models to estimate age adjustments needed, depending on coring height and growth rate. Applying the best-fit equations clearly improved age estimates, and these equations can now be used to adjust ages of mature trees occurring in these same settings.