Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Wood Science and Technology

Committee Chair

Ray R. Hicks, Jr.


This dendrochronological study used dated and measured tree-ring data to examine relationships between radial growth and climate for four hard wood species, yellow-poplar, northern red oak, chestnut oak and red maple, growing on contrasting topographic aspects of a watershed in north-central West Virginia.;The study showed that all species except northern red oak showed significant differences in growth between the mesic and xeric aspects. Where significant differences were found all except chestnut oak exhibited higher growth rates at the mesic aspect.;Yellow-poplar showed a sharp decline in growth from late 1950's to late 1960's, which was evidently caused by several years of below average precipitation. The more conservative species, red oak, chestnut oak and red maple, showed a mild response to the drought compared to yellow-poplar which experienced 30--40% less growth relative to its peak growth in the late 1950's.;All four species exhibited sensitivity to climate, especially to growing season precipitation. Sensitivity to climate followed the sequence yellow-poplar > northern red oak > chestnut oak > red maple.;Regarding the interaction of aspect and climatic sensitivity, yellow-poplar displayed greater sensitivity to climate at the xeric site while the oaks showed little evidence of an aspect-related interaction with climate. For red maple, aspect did interact with climatic sensitivity, although this species showed an overall insensitivity to climate. The results of this study are logical in terms of the ecological strategies of the species; yellow-poplar is widely known to be site specific and exploitive, whereas oaks and maples are more conservative.