When radiocarbon dating a piece of wood or charcoal, the event dated is the growth of the tree ring. Any charcoal or wood sample that is carbon dated will have an apparent age, which may result in errors of up to hundreds of years unless short-lived tree species or twigs are selected for radiocarbon dating.
Can carbon dating be used on wood?
The most suitable types of sample for radiocarbon dating are charcoal and well-preserved wood, although leather, cloth, paper, peat, shell and bone can also be used.
Can carbon dating be used on plants?
Carbon-14 dating can be used to determine the age of everything from bones and plant fibers, to wood and pollen.
Can radiocarbon dating be used on trees?
Radiocarbon dating laboratories have been known to use data from other species of trees.
Does carbon dating still work?
Advancing technology has allowed radiocarbon dating to become accurate to within just a few decades in many cases. Since fossil fuels are millions of years old, they no longer contain any measurable amount of Carbon-14.