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Tree ring cross dating

These patterns can be compared and matched ring for ring with trees growing at the same time, in the same geographical zone (and therefore under similar climatic conditions).When these tree-ring patterns are carried back, from tree to tree in the same locale, in overlapping fashion, chronologies can be built up—both for entire geographical regions and sub-regions.Given the way this method of dating works, something may be dated to an exact year some thousands of years in the past. (Allowance for unlisted names in the biblical chronologies pushes back these dates, but not much).

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Growth rings, also referred to as tree rings or annual rings, can be seen in a horizontal cross section cut through the trunk of a tree.

This page does not attempt to cover the details of wood formation that make tree rings possible, but rather provides an overview of common wood characteristics and anomalies that you will need to identify when you are crossdating.

Variation in these rings is due to variation in environmental conditions when they were formed.

For instance, missing rings are rare in oak and elm trees.

Critical to the science, trees from the same region tend to develop the same patterns of ring widths for a given period of historical study.


  1. Geoscience Research Institute CAN TREE RINGS BE USED TO. Fir master growth-ring sequence is an ideal tree-ring dating assignment. If cross-matching is no more.

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