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Due to the sweeping and diverse applications of this data, specialists can come from many academic disciplines.

There are no degrees in dendrochronology because though it is useful across the board, the method itself is fairly limited.

Wood is a solid and strong material as we all know, valued for its longevity and strength.

Each season of growth (typically annual but not always, we will examine this problem later) a new ring is set down in the body of the tree.

We can see this in any tree stump, a series of concentric rings circling the heart wood and fanning out towards the edge.

Trees are a ubiquitous form of plant life on planet Earth.

They are the lungs of the world, breathing in carbon dioxide and breathing out the oxygen on which animal life depends.

They live in all sorts of conditions too: in temperate and tropical areas and in arid locations, from mountain landscapes to the rainforests of the equator and the temperate uplands of Scandinavia, they are everywhere.

They are used for decoration in parks and gardens all over the world.

They come in all shapes and sizes from the smallest saplings up to the colossal redwoods of North America - it could be said that we take them for granted, yet they are vital to teaching us about many aspects of our past. Before then, tree ancestors may have looked slightly tree-like but they were not trees in any proper sense.

The dawn of the age of true trees came with the evolution of wood in the late Devonian period.

Before this, their ancestors would have a recognisable tree form, believed to be that of a giant type of fern that began the process of developing a woody stem.

Wood helps the developing tree to stay strong as it gets older and grows upwards, building new branches and drinking in more sunlight for photosynthesis reproduction.