Trees from the same species, growing in the same area or environment will be exposed to the same conditions, and hence their growth rings will match at the point where their lifecycles overlap.
Earth's oldest living inhabitant "Methuselah" at 4,767 years, has lived more than a millennium longer than any other tree.
[ While this may be true, a shrub in Tasmania could be 40,000 years old.
See Oldest Living Organism.] The Sheffield Laboratory now has a continuous master sequence for England going back to about 5000BC. This article should be a "must read" for any person interested in factualy accurate information on dating methods.
For each dating or chronological method there is a link in the box at right to take you to that section of this page.
There, you will find a brief description of the method, plus links to take you to other webpages with more extensive information.
However, human beings love to see factual precision, and we want to know how old something is.
A specialized form of cross-dating, using animal and plant fossils, is known as biostratigraphy.Hutton, a Scottish geologist, first proposed formally the fundamental principle used to classify rocks according to their relative ages.He concluded, after studying rocks at many outcrops, that each layer represented a specific interval of geologic time.Keyed to the relative time scale are examples of index fossils, the forms of life which existed during limited periods of geologic time and thus are used as guides to the age of the rocks in which they are preserved.William "Strata" Smith, a civil engineer and surveyor, was well acquainted with areas in southern England where "limestone and shales are layered like slices of bread and butter." His hobby of collecting and cataloging fossil shells from these rocks led to the discovery that certain layers contained fossils unlike those in other layers.