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Since the tree ring counts have reliably dated some specimens of wood all the way back to 6200 BC, one can check out the C-14 dates against the tree-ring-count dates.

Admittedly, this old wood comes from trees that have been dead for hundreds of years, but you don't have to have an 8,200-year-old bristlecone pine tree alive today to validly determine that sort of date.

In the growth-ring analyses of approximately one thousand trees in the White Mountains, we have, in fact, found no more than three or four occurrences of even incipient multiple growth layers. 840) In years of severe drought, a bristlecone pine may fail to grow a complete ring all the way around its perimeter; we may find the ring if we bore into the tree from one angle, but not from another.

Hence at least some of the missing rings can be found.

It is easy to correlate the inner rings of a younger living tree with the outer rings of an older dead tree.