This term, which combines the Greek words for tree (dendron) and time (chrónos), refers to a statistical procedure to help date wood. Environmental factors have an impact on the yearly growth rate trends of annual rings observable in all trees of a particular species in a particular region. This tree-ring dating procedure was developed in the early 20th century and has since been applied to archaeological samples, wooden structures and artwork. In musical instruments, dendrochronology may be used to determine the youngest annual ring of the belly wood by first measuring the width of all annual rings in the belly, generally with the aid of high-resolution photographs. Specific software allows for statistical crossdating against reference chronologies and available chronologies of other instruments. In dating, the oldest and youngest tree rings of the belly are determined.

Dendrochronological data cannot be considered proof of authenticity, but authenticity may be ruled out if annual rings are found that are more recent than the attributed or stated age.       

Ringwidth diagram of the violin by Jacob Stainer, 1671. The bass side and treble side show a high correlation, the two halves probably came from the same tree.