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Dendro Equipment & Supplies

Want to know where to get equipment & supplies?

Looking for ideas on what equipment you need or is even out there?

Find helpful direction and lists to essential & supplemental tools, equipment, and supplies of the trade here!

* Your specific needs will vary, so always feel free to reach out to those in the dendro community with questions

Field & Sampling Equipment

Ex: Increment Borers, Core Storage, DBH Tapes, etc.

General Dendro Suppliers | Increment

Dendroarch-aeology Borers

Dendroarchaeology calls for special borers made for taking (usually) larger core samples from dry timbers and artifacts. These bits are used in combination with an electric drill.

Core Mounts

Core mounts are essential to dendrochronologists. There's no exact rule on how they have to be made as long as the essentials are present: Straight wood strips with a groove down the middle is the very basic form, and the function is to glue wood cores to it for better sanding/cutting/viewing/storage of tree-rings.

  • You can make your own, but do take care to be safe! Dr. Peter Brown (Rocky Mountain Tree-Ring Research) has posted good photos of his process, and previously provided core mounts to the dendro community in the North America. View the photos here:

  • Makers of core mounts can be difficult to find, but you can try local cabinet makers and woodworkers for an inquiry. A couple of known providers in the U.S. are:

Custom Woodwork by Billy Jack  |  Email Wyvona Scarbrough at wyvona [at]

Dendro Supply Co.  |  Email or fill out the order form on the website.

Straws for
Core Storage

While you can, and many do, use freely available plastic straws from restaurants (and claim the best places for straws), some prefer to buy & use paper straws for tree core storage in the field.

  • An important factor in deciding what kind of straws to use in the field is the amount of moisture you'll be working in. Paper straws are more breathable and better at preventing mold, but if you are working in wet/humid environments, it might be best to go with plastic.

  • Also consider the length & diameter. Lengths of 20" are available for longer cores. Straws can also be inserted into one another for longer cores. This works best with two straws of slightly different diameters. Remember, the most common tree core diameter is 5.15mm, so diameters of 7-8mm work well.

Tubes for Larger Core Storage

Larger diameter increment borers & dry timber dendroarchaeological borers require correspondingly larger tubes for storage.

  • Uline clear plastic tubes & caps

  • Large diameter plastic straws, like Boba tea straws, can be good for some borers' cores.

    • Boba tea straws are usually good for up to 10mm cores.​

  • You can make your own core storage using pvc pipe and caps, as well (though it could be more expensive).

  • Another method used by dendros for storing large diameter cores is to wrap in wax paper and use tape to seal.


Like many tools, chainsaws come in a variety of brands & sizes depending on your needs and budget. Some important criteria to consider are weight, engine size & bar length to match size of trees/remnant wood you sample, price, and brand reputation.

Chainsaw Accessories

Buying a chainsaw is good, but you're going to need some things to go with it. Below are some necessities and considerations to assure a good time is had in the field.

  • Chains

    • Always have a few extra chains!

    • Oregon makes reliable chains as well as the chainsaw manufacturers

  • Bars

    • May or may not need a longer & shorter option

    • Oregon makes reliable bars as well as the chainsaw manufacturers

  • Sharpeners

    • Standard file type

    • Electric type

  • Case Types

    • Hard case

    • Chainsaw harness / backpack

    • Padded Bar Protector

    • Plastic Bar Protector

  • Fuel

    • Larger tank for carrying gasoline/petrol

    • Smaller tanks for carrying mixed fuel

    • Liter-sized canisters for backpacking

  • Fuel mix

    • 2-stroke (2-cycle) chainsaws require mixing gasoline/petrol with an oil mix

    • Using quality, factory recommended mixes is advised

  • Chainsaw Tool - standard tool with box ends for loosening nuts & slotted screwdriver end

  • Safety Gear (PPE) !!!

    • Helmet with ear protection & face shield

    • Safety glasses

    • Gloves

    • Chainsaw protective chaps / pants (trousers) / bibs

    • Hi-vis vests or clothing

    • Whistle or other device (just in case you get stuck!)

    • Phone/Satellite Phone/Emergency Personal Locator Beacons/Etc.

    • Quality First Aid Kit

Field & Sampling Equipment

Lab Equipment & Tree-Ring Measurement Programs

Ex: Microscopes, Measurement Stations, Core Mounts, Sample Prep, etc.

Sample Prep Equipment & Supplies

Microscopes & Microscope Accessories

  • Stereo Microscope

  • Boom Microscope Stand

    • Stands can be found through Amscope, etc. Ensure compatibility with your microcope!

  • Microscope Camera

    • Cameras can also be found amongst the brands.

  • Light source (illuminator) for Microscopy

    • Many different brands & types of light sources

Measuring & Analysis Programs

R Packages for Dendro

  • dplR package: The Dendrochronology Program Library in R (dplR)

    • dplR is a software package in the R statistical programming environment for tree-ring analyses. R is the world's preeminent open-source statistical computing environment where users can contribute packages, which are freely available on the internet. dplR can read standard format files and perform several standard analyses. These include interactive detrending, chronology building, and calculating standard descriptive statistics. The package can also produce a variety of publication quality plots. - Dr. Andy Bunn (GitHub)

  • xDateR App - Dr. Andy Bunn

  • MAIDENiso (Modeling and analysis in dendroecology – isotope enabled)

    • ​MAIDEN is an ecophysiological model that was created to explore the relationships between climate variability and forest growth-productivity. The simulations are verified using dendroecological data and measurements of ecosystem fluxes.

  • dendrTools package: Linear and Nonlinear Methods for Analyzing Daily and Monthly Dendroclimatological Data

    • Provides novel dendroclimatological methods, primarily used by the Tree-ring research community. There are four core functions. The first one is daily_response(), which finds the optimal sequence of days that are related to one or more tree-ring proxy records. Similar function is daily_response_seascorr(), which implements partial correlations in the analysis of daily response functions. For the enthusiast of monthly data, there is monthly_response() function. The last core function is compare_methods(), which effectively compares several linear and nonlinear regression algorithms on the task of climate reconstruction. - Dr. Jernej Jevsenak (GitHub)

Scanners and Other Imaging Tools

  • Epson Perfection V600 (Amazon)

  • Epson Perfection V850 Pro (Amazon)

  • Epson Expression 10000XL Wide-Format Scanner (Amazon)

  • Epson Expression 12000XL-GA Flatbed Scanner (Amazon)

  • SilverFast Software by LaserSoft Imaging

    • LaserSoft Imaging, founded in 1986, is worldwide known as a pioneer of scanner and digital imaging software. SilverFast is the standard in the field of Scanning and Archiving

  • SKIPPY: High-resolution image capturing system for tree-rings developed at WSL

    • The new Skippy system allows digitizing tree rings from cores and disks, but also taking images from long micro sections (up to 40cm) using transmitted light. This feature is of special interest for dendrogeomorphic applications to identify the onset of compression wood and tension wood in micro sections cut with a WSL-Core-Microtome.

  • CaptuRING: DIY digitization tool for sample digitization (Cambium Research Group)

  • Hugin Image Stitching Software (Opensource)

    • Hugin provides the ability to stitch photos together. For dendrochronologists, this means we can take multiple scans of large cores or cross sections and stitch them together for image analysis in other crossdating software.

  • Image-Pro​

    • Image-Pro is an image analysis software platform that delivers intuitive tools that make it easy to capture, process, measure, analyze and share your images and valuable data.​

  • Cox Analytical Systems | XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) scanners for Continuous Scanning XRF, CS-XRF

    • We build scanners by scientists for scientific work in research and industry, scanners that maximize your analytical possibilities and the information that you can pick up from your samples. Still, these scanners are straightforward and easy to use. With these instruments you can scan along long samples to determine the variation of a wide range of elements along a scanned track. Our Itrax XRF scanners retrieve a wealth of information in short time, non destructively and cost efficient. A deep understanding of x-ray physics have resulted in several cutting edge constructions. Itrax stands for XRF scanners with unique constructions packed with innovations that offer several competitive advantages. These analytical instruments find their applications in scanning drill cores as well as wet sediment cores or even wood, within fields like Geology, Petroleum Engineering and Research, Mineral Exploration and Research, Forestry, Environmental Research, Paleoclimate Research, etc.

  • DENDROXRAY 2 by Walesch Electronic

    • DENDROXRAY 2 closed system is a compact designed apparatus for the gentle X-raying of wood samples. The X-ray tube of the DENDROXRAY 2 closed system is built-in into a cabinet, which protects the operator against all X-rays coming out from the X-ray tube (fully protected device). This equipment has the advantage (in Switzerland) that no approval is necessary for the operation.

Other Equipment

Other Software & Applications

Lab Equipment
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