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To eliminate individual variations in tree-ring growth, dendrochronologists take the smoothed average of the tree-ring widths of multiple tree samples to build up a ring history, a process termed replication.A tree-ring history whose beginning and end dates are not known is called a floating chronology.

This makes it possible to determine the source of ships as well as smaller artifacts made from wood but which were transported long distances, such as panels for paintings and ship timbers.It can be anchored by cross-matching a section against another chronology (tree-ring history) whose dates are known.A fully anchored and cross-matched oak and pine chronology in central Europe extends back 12,460 years, Timber core samples are sampled and used to measure the width of annual growth rings; by taking samples from different sites within a particular region, researchers can build a comprehensive historical sequence.A new layer of wood is added in each growing season, thickening the stem, existing branches and roots, to form a growth ring.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.If the bark of the tree has been removed in a particular area, the rings will likely to be deformed as the plant overgrows the scar.

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