Historical Preservation of Hudson Valley Buildings

Tree-Ring analysis can be used to date the construction of historical buildings using a technique called cross-dating.

Cross-dating is the fundamental process of tree-ring analysis. Using various methods such as pattern matching and statistical tests, researchers can study rings to establish the actual calendar date for each annual growth ring.

Therefore, by cross-dating historical samples to living trees with known calendar dates, tree-ring scientists can date to the year with no error [+/- 0] the date of construction or tree cutting for the samples of interest.

Dendrochronology Solves Palisades Big House Age Mystery

A great deal of what has been written about the Big House in Palisades is based on the idea that it was built by Dr. Lockhart (first patent holder) around 1685. However, there were no roads at the time and if he had built a house, it would have been nearer the Hudson River.

Tree-ring dating performed by the Tree-Ring Lab's Gordon Jacoby has definitively established the true construction date of the Big House.

Examination of the 15 cores clearly showed that the last, partial, ring in several of the central basement supporting beams &beams from under the kitchen dated to 1738. This would mean that the house was built in 1738 or shortly afterward by Henry Ludlow.