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If a Bigtooth Maple were cut down on Mount Lemmon in 2016 and it had 400 rings, you would know the tree started growing in 1616. What if it's been used to build a home or a ship or a bonfire?
An Isotope Called Carbon-14 But alas, pattern-matching in order to date when a tree was cut isn't always possible.
"Every year the trees in our forests show the swing of Time's pendulum and put down a mark.
They are chronographs, recording clocks, by which the succeeding seasons are set down through definite imprints," he wrote in the pages of National Geographic.
It turns out our DNA is a kind of molecular clock, keeping time via genetic changes.
The identification of fakes and forgeries is a basic issue that has always raised controversy.