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Dendrochronology

Making It Grow Radio Minute
SC Public Radio

Dendrochronology is the study of information obtained from tree ring growth. It is used in several different fields – archaeologists can date wooden artifacts, dendrologist – tree scientists – can use tree rings to determine the local climate. But perhaps the most interesting is climate science. Professor Dave Stahle of the University of Arkansas told us at his talk at the Congaree National Park that the Lost Colony, called that because none of the original settlers survived, was ill-fated due to several factors but one fact that scientists have established is that those people who were trying to grow crops to feed themselves had no chance of a good harvest as they sadly were dealing with the drought of fifteen eighty-seven through sixteen hundred. Tree ring analysis shows that fifteen eighty-seven was the driest year in eight hundred years.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.