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Instead, estimates are made based on the tree's size and presumed growth rate.

Through tree-ring cross-referencing, they have been shown to be more than five millennia old.

A clonal colony can survive for much longer than an individual tree.

Many of these trees may be even older than their listed ages, but the oldest wood in the tree has rotted away.

For some old trees, so much of the centre is missing that their age cannot be directly determined.

Even the genetic inheritance of a tree plays a role in that it will magnify or retard the above factors.

Thus, even trees on the same mountain, of the same species, don't always crossdate as nicely as one might think.

Ages for clonal colonies, often based on current growth rates, are estimates.

Several genetically identical males that have reproduced vegetatively.

Creationists sometimes seize upon such isolated facts in their desperate bid to discredit tree-ring dating.

They either don't understand--or don't want to understand--that careful statistical studies have settled the issue beyond a reasonable doubt.

As with all long-lived plant and fungal species, no individual part of a clonal colony is alive (in the sense of active metabolism) for more than a very small fraction of the life of the entire clone.

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