They live in all sorts of conditions too: in temperate and tropical areas and in arid locations, from mountain landscapes to the rainforests of the equator and the temperate uplands of Scandinavia, they are everywhere.They are used for decoration in parks and gardens all over the world.
They come in all shapes and sizes from the smallest saplings up to the colossal redwoods of North America - it could be said that we take them for granted, yet they are vital to teaching us about many aspects of our past. Before then, tree ancestors may have looked slightly tree-like but they were not trees in any proper sense.
The dawn of the age of true trees came with the evolution of wood in the late Devonian period.
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.
It is an accurate and reliable dating method with a large number of uses in environmental studies, archaeology and everything in between.
The method has gone from strength to strength and is now a vital method across multiple disciplines.This enormous and comprehensive data set is fundamental to both European and North American studies of the palaeoclimate and prehistory (8).There is one major drawback to dendrochronology and that is that we can only date the rings in the tree.Trees are a ubiquitous form of plant life on planet Earth.They are the lungs of the world, breathing in carbon dioxide and breathing out the oxygen on which animal life depends.We can see this in any tree stump, a series of concentric rings circling the heart wood and fanning out towards the edge.