Before that time, the science, art and philosophy of dendrochronology – aka – dendro-dating – was mostly limited to the determination of ages of buildings under the control of certain public and some private institutions.
However, the home owner is becoming more and more interested in knowing the exact dates of construction of both their houses and their barns.
Scientists and scholars of various disciplines have been using recent advances in dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating studies, in the Northeast along with the development of regional master chronologies for various species of trees to promote the dating of timber framed buildings and other buildings that have timbers somewhere in their construction.
Although the science of dendrochronology was first formulated about 1905, it has only until very recently, perhaps since 2000, that the science has gained much popularity with private homeowners.
Of the numerous definitions describing the essence of dendrochronology, here at the Cornell Tree-Ring Laboratory, we adhere to Eckstein's definition: "dendrochronology is a science of extracting chronological and non-chronological information from dated tree-rings." The key to dendrochronology and related sciences is tree-ring growth.
Dendro-dating can be a very effective although not foolproof way of creating data that can often lead to discerning the age of construction of various buildings and structures in the northeast and beyond.
There are, however, certain criteria that must be satisfied or met in order that a wood testing on any particular building will yield good to even excellent but not guaranteed results.
The oak slice from the Taylor stone Lancashire style ground barn located just west of West Chester in Chester County, Pennsylvania was dendro-dated to 1752.
This date established the structure to be the earliest basically intact and scientifically verified barn in all of Pennsylvania.