During the latter half of the nineteenth century, the scientific study of tree rings and the application of dendrochronology began.
In 1859, the German-American Jacob Kuechler (1823–1893) used crossdating to examine oaks (Quercus stellata) in order to study the record of climate in western Texas.
Visible rings result from the change in growth speed through the seasons of the year; thus, critical for the title method, one ring generally marks the passage of one year in the life of the tree.
Removal of the bark of the tree in a particular area may cause deformation of the rings as the plant overgrows the scar.
Dendrochronology is useful for determining the precise age of samples, especially those that are too recent for radiocarbon dating, which always produces a range rather than an exact date, to be very accurate.