Do you know how to find out how old a tree is? Can you tell if one tree is older than another tree, just be looking at it?
Older trees tend to be taller with a wider trunk.
How old is a tree?
Try one of these easy methods!
Count the rings
One common way to find the age of a tree, is to count the annual rings.
We found a tree which has been cut down and looked at the rings inside. Every year the tree grows a new layer of wood below the bark which makes the trunk grow wider. The rings vary in size, depending on the growth that has occurred. Tree growth is affected by availability of nutrients, water and other factors.
Measure the circumference
Another way to estimate the age of a tree is to measure its girth or circumference. You could do this by wrapping a rope around the trunk of the tree and then measuring the rope.
Generally each 2.5cm represents one year of growth, although this differs depending on the species of tree.
Count the Whorls
Some tree species such as pines, spruces and firs grow a whorl of branches each year. Count the number of whorls of branches to find out the age of the tree!
More Tree Science for Kids
From ABC to Acts has another fun way of measuring a tree’s height using a pencil.
Try these easy ideas for science in the forest.
Find out why leaves change colour in autumn.
Make a pinecone weather station, using just pinecones!
Find out how tall a tree is without climbing it! This great fun to do when you’re out on a walk. People will definitely wonder what you’re doing!
Do you have any more tree themed science activities we could try, what have I missed?
Last Updated on November 27, 2020 by Emma Vanstone