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These are: dendrochronology (or 'tree-ring' dating), radiocarbon dating and thermoluminescence dating.Each method has a distinct role in the investigation of historic buildings.
The dendro-date is thus the year in which the final ring of the specimen grew (the year in which the tree was felled, but not necessarily the year in which the building was constructed).
Unfortunately, after many years of analysis he was not able to confirm the correlation he sought.
Nevertheless, the laboratory was able to demonstrate many interesting properties of ring widths and their relationship with various aspects of climate and other natural phenomena and, of course, their use in the accurate dating of timber.
The pattern of ring widths on a specimen taken from a building is matched, using a computer with a 'master chronology' often several centuries long for the particular area.
This regional chronology will have been painstakingly built up from many thousands of measurements and by cross-matching many overlapping patterns of timbers.
Oak is the species of prime interest and it is possible to date wood back to over 7,000 years with a precision, in appropriate circumstances, of a single year.