The core is sanded and treated with a wood oil to make the rings more distinct.
A small core of the wood is removed and the rings are painstakingly counted.
Although the analysis of those specimens is ongoing, dozens of new dates have already been obtained.
The second goal is to collect new tree-ring specimens from back-country cliff sites that still contain datable wood.
By counting the thin bands (annual rings) on the wood cylinder, the approximate age of the tree can be determined.
Often the borer does not reach the center of the trunk, so the total number of years must be extrapolated from the radius of the trunk.