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The second goal is to collect new tree-ring specimens from back-country cliff sites that still contain datable wood.In addition to the five well known Mesa Verde cliff dwellings that are open to the public (Balcony House, Long House, and Step House on Wetherill Mesa; Cliff Palace and Spruce Tree House on Chapin Mesa), there are nearly 600 documented cliff sites within the park boundaries, ranging from small masonry granaries, to large cliff sites.
The third goal of the project is to re-examine the Schulman Grove in Navajo Canyon, which is home to Douglas fir trees that may have been manipulated by pre-Columbian inhabitants of Mesa Verde in order to produce stems for construction beams of predictable size and shape (Nichols and Smith 1965). In 1947, he discovered and cored a tree that yielded an inner date of A. 1150, making it by far the oldest tree known in the park and one of the oldest Douglas fir trees anywhere in the Southwest (Schulman 1947).
Of these, roughly 250 are known to contain wood, but only about one tenth (24) of those contain wood from secure contexts that are likely to be datable.
The other sites contain lintels, wall pegs, or loose wood specimens that are of the wrong species or who are too small to be datable. 1274, leaving a small but significant gap created, in part, by ring growth anomalies caused by the “Great Drought” (Douglass 1929).
A warm British winter or wet summer will generally have a positive effect on growth (dependent on site factors) and give rise to a wider ring in that year.
A harsh winter or dry/hot summer generally has a negative effect on a tree's growth causing a narrow tree-ring in that year.