How tall is a tree?

We love trees in our house. My 5 and 4 year old children like to climb them and my 2 year old likes to collect leaves, pinecones and horse chestnuts. Last weekend we spent the morning at Alice Holt Forest which is looked after by the Forestry Commisson.

My question to you today is how can you measure how tall a tree is?

We have a fun method.

So much fun!

The Science Bit

This method of measuring the height of a tree is only an estimate, but uses trigonometry. If you look at the top of a tree at a 45 degree angle then the height of the tree (h) is the same as the distance that you are from the tree. 

Author: Emma Vanstone

Science Sparks, is a site dedicated to making Science fun for kids. I’d love you to follow me on my Google Profile+.

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  1. I love this!!!! I’ve never heard of it either but can’t wait to try it with my kids!

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  2. absolute genius! you are a minefield of information! x

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    • Ha ha, thanks!

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    • Its funny isn’t it?

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  3. Sophmore year trig just came flooding back to me upon seeing the illustration! I LOVE this idea and it’s timing is perfect as my daughter has been asking how tall some of our hundred year old poplar tulips are. They tower over our house and I’m estimating they’re at least 120 feet tall. So would this method work on an incline or would that skew the right angle?

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  4. I SO love this post!!! Love the idea of introducing my young kids to something they otherwise won’t get until high school.

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