What causes really dense tree rings?



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    Tree ring width is determined by certain environmental factors that set limits on a tree’s growth in a given year.  The most common limiting factor is precipitation.  In wet years, tree rings tend to be wider, while in years of drought they’re quite narrow.  So, a dense clump of narrow rings likely indicates several years of drought.  There is actually a whole branch of science devoted to using tree rings to date historical events and time periods, called dendrochronology.

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