There are some science facts so ubiquitous that it takes a while to realize that, oh yes, someone actually discovered that. Anyone who went to a state park, or looked down at a freshly-sawed stump, has held their parents' hands and heard how you can tell about the life of a tree by studying its rings. Now meet the guy…
The science of dendrochronology observes changes in the pattern of tree rings in an attempt to create a time line and infer climate changes. Using tree ring data, it is possible to link the past 11,000 years in parts of Germany & Northern Ireland, but only the past few centuries in other parts of the world.
Check out a modified record player that reads growth rings from a tree like musical notes. Created by German artist Bartholomäus Traubeck, Years takes the annual rings that you find in cross-sections of trees and converts them into piano music. He describes the process on his website: