How do you tell the age of a tree

How to Tell How Old a Tree Is (Trick Works Every Time on All Tree Types)

Many people know the basic steps of how to tell how old a tree is using a simple trick… just count its rings.1

It works every time. You can check the cross-section of the tree’s branch and start with the first dark circle. Count outward from this dark circle till you reach the outermost dark ring. The total dark rings give you the age of the tree. Please note that the bark doesn’t count as a ring.

But, this can be tricky unless you have a cross-section of the trunk, and that would require it being cut.

Fortunately, there’s a much better way to tell how old a tree is.

Use a tree age calculator that works using the tree species’ growth factor. You can do it yourself, or use this convenient tool!

What Is the Trick to Tell the Age of All Trees?

The rings in a tree’s trunk are formed when cells divide and grow in layers during its life. The widths of these bands vary depending on the species and climate. By counting how many dark rings are visible on a tree trunk, you can calculate how old it is.7

However, if you use the calculator above, you can get a very close estimate to a tree’s age, without needing a cross section.

Here are some tips for using it:

  • When measuring the circumference of the truck, a fabric tape measure works well, but if you don’t have one, you can use any length of string. Just mark the string, lay it out flat, and then measure it using a regular tape measure or yard stick.
  • When making the circumference measurement, make sure to place the string around the trunk at about 4’6″ from the ground… this is about the height of a standard counter top, plus about a foot.

Keep reading to learn more about the age of any tree.

In general, if you see more than seven (or eight) annual growth rings per centimeter, your tree is quite old; if you see fewer than five or six per centimeter, it’s probably younger than that; and if there are none at all, then you have an ancient specimen whose age may be impossible to determine with confidence.

How To Tell Age of Tree Without Cutting it Down?

Knowing a tree’s age is an essential aspect of tree management. It determines how fast a tree grows, how long it will stay alive, and whether or not it needs to be cut down. There are many methods to determine the age of a tree without cutting into it, but they all have their drawbacks. Some of these methods include:

  • Stem diameter2 (the larger the diameter, the older the tree)
  • Bark thickness (the thicker the bark, the older the tree)
  • Millimeter-scale growth rings in the trunk (the more rings present in a section of the trunk, the older that section is)

How To Count Tree Rings for Age?

Tree rings are natural markings on the tree trunk that indicate how old it is. A tree’s age can be determined by counting the number of rings, which is how scientists date trees. The number of rings on a tree varies by species and location, so it’s important to know what kind of trees you’re working with when estimating their age.

The amount of information found in these rings depends on many factors, including climate and soil conditions. For example, the temperature will affect how fast your tree grows if you live in a cold climate. This means your tree will have fewer rings if it lives in a cold climate than if it lives in a warm one.

Related Reading: How many trees does it take to build a house?

Counting tree rings can be tricky because there are so many variables involved! If you don’t have experience counting tree rings, it’s best to find someone who does this regularly or hire an expert to help you!

How To Use Mitchell’s Rule Tree Age Calculator

Mitchell’s rule helps calculate a tree’s age by assuming that a tree’s girth expands by about 2.5 cm each year.

This means you can measure the girth of a tree and divide it by 2.5 to get the age. But, it’s not always the most accurate method.

Related Reading: How many Christmas trees per acre can you plant?

Instead, by using a tree’s specific growth factor, you can approximate its age and still enjoy the stunning beauty of the living tree.

Tree Diameter Age Estimation Chart

One of the most dependable ways to estimate the age of a tree is by multiplying its diameter by its growth factor. Below are the growth factors for some common tree species.

Tree SpeciesGrowth Factor
Red Maple4.5
Silver Maple3.0
Sugar Maple5.5
River Birch3.5
White Birch5.0
Shagbark Hickory7.5
Green Ash4.0
Black Walnut4.5
Black Cherry5.0
White Oak5.0
Red Oak4.0
Pin Oak3.0
American Elm4.0
White Ash5. 0
Aspen spp2.0
American Beech6.0
European Beech4.0
European White Birch5.0
River Birch3.5
Paper Birch (aka White)5.0
Yellow Buckeye5.0
Kentucky Coffeetree3.0
Douglas Fir5.0
White Fir7.5
Common Horsechestnut8.0
Littleleaf Linden3.0
Black Maple5.0
Norway Maple4.5
Northern Red Oak4.0
Scarlet Oak4.0
Shingle Oak6.0
Shumard Oak3.0
Bradford Pear3.0
Austrian Pine4.5
Red Pine5.5
Scotch Pine3.5
White Pine5. 0
Tulip Poplar (Tulip Tree)3.0
Colorado Blue Spruce4.5
Norway Spruce5.0
American Sycamore4.0

How Old Is a Tree With 3.0 Rings?

If you want to know how old a tree is, and have a number like 3.0, it’s the growth factor. A growth factor is a rate at which a tree grows.

Pin oak, Silver maple, and linden have a 3.0 growth factor. You should find the diameter of a tree and then multiply it by the growth factor (3.0). For example, if the diameter of a silver maple is 16 inches, its age is 48 years.

Related Reading: How many pieces of paper in a tree?

How To Find the Maximum Age of Tree

There is no correct answer to this. The maximum age depends on various things such as the weather, soil, and other factors that may affect its age. If you are looking for the maximum age of a tree, you can use an online calculator, which will give you a range of ages for your tree.

The best way to find out how old a tree is is to look at it yourself. You can use a ruler or tape measure and see if there are any evident signs that your tree has reached its maximum age. You should also remember that trees grow at different rates depending on their species, climate, soil type, and other factors, so it is impossible to say how old your tree will grow without researching first!

How To Figure Pine Tree Age by Diameter

Pine trees are often used for landscaping purposes, and their age can be determined3 by measuring their diameter and multiplying it by the growth factor.

Start by taking hold of the tree’s trunk and measuring the circumference. For example, if the circumference is 20 inches, the diameter will be 20 divided by 3.14. This will give you 6.36.

Related Reading: How many trees are planted each year?

The growth factor of a pine tree is 5.0. So the pine tree’s age in this example would be approximately 31. 8 years.

International Society of Arboriculture Tree Growth Factor

The International Society of Arboriculture uses the diameter of a tree to figure out its age, which is then used to determine whether or not a tree is healthy.

The diameter is measured by figuring out the circumference of a tree first. Use a tape measure to measure the tree’s circumference and divide the number by 3.14. Once you have the diameter, multiply it with the growth factor to get the tree’s age.

How To Tell How Old a Tree is by Rings

A tree’s lifespan is determined by how often it produces and sheds its leaves and how much water it receives. A tree’s age can be determined based on its size, the number of rings in its trunk and branches, and whether or not the tree is still alive and growing.

The number of rings that your favorite tree has can be used to determine its exact age. Your local park department may also have an arborist who can tell you how old your favorite tree is based on its appearance and size.

Related Reading: How many trees are in the world?

There are several types of trees with varying methods for determining their ages. The deciduous (or “leaf”) tree is the most common type of tree; these include maples, elms, oaks, and birches. Other types include conifers (including pine trees) and evergreens (spruce trees, cypresses, and cedars).

Some trees have unique characteristics that allow for easy determination of their ages; for example, maples have visible rings which can be counted as part of determining their age.

How To Tell How Old a Pine Tree Is

It’s easy to determine the age of a pine tree. You first need to find the diameter of the tree. You can do this by measuring the circumference and dividing it by 3.14. Once you have the diameter, you multiply it by the growth rate.

The growth rate for a pine tree is 5.0. This calculation helps you determine the age of any pine tree.

How To Tell How Old a Palm Tree Is

Usually, the best way to tell the age of a tree4 is by looking at the trunk’s rings. However, palm trees do not have very thick trunks, so this method would be complicated.

You can check a palm tree’s age by checking if it survived radiocarbon dating. This is a method that checks the chemicals and assesses the age of the tree. Since this method is scientific, you would need an expert to help determine this.

This method, however, does not account for ailments and habitat. These factors do hinder growth.

How To Tell How Old a Redwood Tree Is?

To determine how old your tree is, simply use the ring method. The more the number of rings, the older the tree is. Most redwood trees live long, so this method may be time-consuming and frustrating.

Redwoods also have scars from diseases that affect their growth rate, but these scars do not always appear on the outside of their trunks.

If you see a dark patch on a redwood’s outer bark or trunk, this means there was a large-scale infestation of fungal root rot that caused damage to some parts of the tree’s root system. This is also a factor you should consider when calculating its age.

What Do Tree Rings Mean?

Tree rings are a form of tree growth that can indicate the age of a tree. It is essential to know when an individual tree was planted and how old it is. This can be used to determine whether or not a species is growing at the rate it should be.

To understand what tree ring samples mean, you need to understand what they are and why they’re essential. Tree rings are made up of a series of layers that form around a tree trunk after it has been cut down or pruned, which makes them easy to identify.

The different layers form in different parts of the tree depending on what caused them to grow in that area. For example, if an insect attacked the bark during growth, that part of the ring will show up as more brittle than other parts due to lackluster growth during that period.

Are Thick Tree Rings the Same as Smaller Rings?

The answer is yes, but not in the way you might think. Thick tree rings are a marker of a tree that grew in more favorable conditions. The thicker the ring, the more years and growth cycles it took for the tree to reach its full height.

This means that it could bloom and produce fruits earlier than other trees of its species.

Related Reading: How much carbon does a tree capture?

Smaller rings mean a tree did not reach its full height because it lived during a period when weather conditions were less favorable for growth. In other words, some trees do not grow larger than others because they couldn’t thrive under ideal conditions.

How Are Black Tree Rings Formed?

Black tree rings are formed when a tree grows during late summer and fall. This is because the leaves on a tree are still alive at this time and produce sugars. The sugars are then transported to the leaves through photosynthesis, which converts them into starch.

When the leaves wither back in the spring and summer, it’s only then that the sugars begin to be depleted. The trees begin to store energy by building up their wood matter, especially if there is not enough food available for them during their winter months.

They also begin to lose their leaves early in the spring because they do not have enough energy from photosynthesis to maintain them throughout the warmer season.

The trees’ reserves of energy are depleted as they cannot produce enough starch during these months while they build up more wood structures in preparation for winter.

How To Care for Older Trees?

Trees are an essential part of the ecosystem and can be a great addition to the landscape. However, there comes a time when you need to learn how to care for your trees and keep them healthy and happy. If you have older trees in your yard, you will want to know how to care for them so they can live a long healthy life.

The first thing you should do is make sure that you are watering your trees properly. If they are not getting enough water, they might not be able to grow to their full potential. You should also ensure that the soil around your tree is good and has plenty of nutrients so the roots can get what they need from there.

You should also ensure that all dead branches on your tree are cut off before winter comes because this will help protect them from freezing during cold weather. While it may seem easy at first glance, it requires some work upfront so that you can enjoy these beautiful trees for years to come!

Trees provide the planet with a much needed, and abundant source of carbon capture technology. Older trees especially need to be protected using carbon offset tree planting strategies and many of the best carbon offset programs do just that. These older forests work to reduce the overall eco footprint of the planet, and can be strengthened with new growth while protecting the old growth.

Are Older Trees More Susceptible to Diseases?

Trees over 30 years old are more susceptible to diseases5 because they have already had many years to develop their immune systems. If you have an older tree, it’s essential to ensure that you take care of it properly to prevent disease.

This means regularly watering the tree, keeping the soil moist, and not allowing the roots to dry. Ensure your tree gets enough sunlight by placing it where it gets plenty of natural light throughout the day. If you have a large tree, consider planting it near a fence or other structure so that it can get shade during hot summer days.

Can You Tell the Age of a Tree by Looking at its Leaves?

If you are looking for information about trees and how they grow, then yes, you can! Trees have leaves because they need them to photosynthesize. This means that they need sunlight to survive. When a tree is young, its leaves will be green and healthy. As it grows older, the leaves will begin to change color and become more mature.

If you want to find out how old a tree is, use the ring counting method. This will give you an idea of how long it has been since it was planted.

You can also use this method when you’re trying to determine if your tree is healthy or not. If there are cracks in the bark or pieces missing, this could mean that the tree needs some TLC before it can live another day!

It’s essential to know a tree’s age so you can care for it adequately. It’s also important to know the specific kind of tree you have and what its health needs are.

For example, if your tree has brown spots on its leaves and looks unhealthy, you might suspect a fungal infection. If you suspect this, it is recommended that you call a professional to come out and assess your tree.

The best way to care for your tree is by keeping it healthy, which means being able to monitor the health of its roots and trunk and applying natural pest fighters and fungal treatments when required.

As you know, a tree’s lifespan is directly linked to how well it’s cared for. A tree expert will be able to recognize a variety of indicators that provide clues to its age. So, if you want to maximize your enjoyment of the beautiful trees around you, it’s worth investigating if you could do anything better for them. Knowing how to tell how old a tree is can help you inspire others with a love and respect for these vital parts of nature.

How to Determine the Age of a Tree

If you’ve visited this site in the past, you know that we are nature aficionados and we hope to help all children respect and love nature. One of our favorite parts of nature to admire are trees. We just adore trees. They make our world beautiful, keep our planet breathing and provide so many benefits to life.

There are so many reasons to appreciate trees and many ways to show appreciation including befriending one, photographing them, decorating them with a mask, to taking a forest bath. Here, we introduce a simple way to learn more about a tree by discovering its age without (gasp) cutting it down to count the tree rings.

“I never see a forest that does not bear a mark or a sign of history. ”—Anselm Kiefer (Artist)



It can be very difficult to calculate the age of a tree if you don't know when it was planted. However, it is possible to estimate the tree's age through an approximation technique that is based on the circumference of its trunk. This method, which was first proposed by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), relies on a simple formula that uses the tree diameter at breast height (DBH), which is the tree's diameter at a point of 4.5 feet above the ground.

Some simple background: Measuring the girth, or the middle, of a tree can be used to estimate the tree's age. Generally,  a tree will increase its girth by 1 inch a year.


Step 1. Gather your materials.  All you need is a tape measure, paper and something to write with. Depending on the size of the tree, you may need a partner to help measure your tree.


Step 2.  Choose your tree! The most important step. Decide which tree you want to age. You will need to sort out the species of your tree in order to figure out its age. Use a tree ID app or field guide to help you out.


Step 3.  Measure the circumference. Wrap the tape measure around the tree at about four and a half feet above the ground. This measurement is the tree's circumference. Write down this measurement.


Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Step 4. It's time for a little bit of math. Use the circumference to find the diameter of the tree. The formula for finding diameter is: Diameter = circumference divided by 3.14 (pi).


Step 5.  Now that you have the diameter of the tree, it's time to figure out its age. Because the rate of growth will differ according to what type of tree it is, you'll need the tree's growth factor. You can find your tree's growth factor here. Some types of trees, such as oak and beech, will grow quite slowly, and so the growth factor will be smaller. Pine trees however are very fast-growing and their growth factor will be larger. Of course, this is an estimation as there are other factors that will affect the growth of a tree such as how close the tree is to other trees. If the tree is on its own, it has the space to grow faster than trees in a wood.


Here are the growth factor rates for common trees:

2.0: Aspen, Cottonwood

3.0: Silver Maple, Pin Oak, Linden

3.5: River Birch

4.0: American Elm, Green Ash, Red Oak

4.5: Black Walnut, Red Maple

5.0: Sugar Maple, White Birch, White Oak, Black Cherry

7.0: Dogwood, Ironwood, Redbud


For example, if you wanted to figure out the age of white oak and find that its circumference is 80 inches, diameter is 25.46 inches (80 divided by 3.141592), with a growth factor of 5.0,  input these details into the equation, we have the following: 25. 46 × 5.0 = 127.323. The estimated age of the white oak is 127 years old!






How to determine the age of a tree

1. Based on documents or surveys.
Try to find information about pickup times. This is the most reliable way to determine the age, other methods give only approximate results. You can research this issue if possible. Ask old-timers or look for old photographs to find out information about the landing date.

2. By branches.
The age of a coniferous tree can be found by counting the number of whorls (tiers of annular arrangement of branches) on the trunk. Only one whorl forms on the trunk annually. After counting their number, add 3 (pine), 4 (spruce), 5 (fir) or 10 (cedar) to it. The thing is that the first whorl does not appear in the first year, but at different ages, depending on the type of tree. The resulting amount will indicate the age of the tree. But remember: the whorls are clearly visible until the age of 30-40, after which the lower branches begin to fall off, their bases become overgrown with wood and their traces are very difficult to detect!

Determining the age of a coniferous tree.

In a deciduous tree, age is determined by annual rings - but not the trunk, but the outer rings of the branch. The fact is that every year its growth begins with the apical bud. In this place, a transverse scar in the form of a thickening-ring remains on the branches. The first ring is formed at the point of departure from the trunk.

Determination of tree age by branch rings

3. Determining the age of a tree trunk
The diameter of the trunk is measured at a height of 1. 3 m (at the level of the chest of an adult). It is believed that at this height the trunk of most tree species already has a rounded shape. Some authors recommend measuring the trunk diameter at a height of 30 cm.

Determining the location of the trunk measurement

3.1. The easiest way to determine the age of a tree.

Use the formula B=1.6 x D + 44 for this, where B is the age of the tree, years; D - its diameter at a height of 1.3 m from the ground (at the height of the chest of an average person) in cm; 44 - coefficient. It must be remembered that this method of determining is very approximate, the error can be from 5 to 15% in the direction of increasing age. At the same time, for a tree with a diameter of 20-44 cm, this error is about 5%, over 44 years - from 6 to 10%: the older the tree, the more often it falls into unfavorable conditions and the stronger the fluctuations in the width of the annual ring.

3. 2. By annual increase
For this, it is not necessary to cut down a tree or use a special drill. As the tree grows, the thickness of its trunk increases every year. Knowing the average annual growth of a tree of this species in your area, you can divide the diameter of the trunk by it to determine the approximate age of the tree. The average annual increase depends on the type of tree and local conditions. For example, trees grow faster in a forest than in a city, so this method gives very approximate results. Divide the trunk diameter by the average annual increase in diameter.
We have already said that as a tree grows, the thickness of its trunk increases every year due to the formation of a new annual ring.
In fast-growing species (for example, poplar, willow, birch, eucalyptus, acacia, maple), the width of such a ring is 1-2 cm, in medium-growing species (common spruce, larch, Scots pine, plane tree, mulberry, common ash, elm) - mm , in slow-growing (Caucasian and Siberian fir, pedunculate oak, elm, linden, hornbeam, yew) - 1-4 mm (see tables 1 and 2).

The width of the annual layers varies greatly depending on many factors: species, age, growing conditions, position in the trunk. The narrowest annual rings (up to 1 mm) are formed in slow-growing species (boxwood), and the widest (1 cm or more) are characteristic of rapidly growing species (poplar, willow). In the trunk of a tree, the annual layers are wider than in the branches. At a young age and under favorable growth conditions, wider annual layers are formed.
The average annual increase depends on the type of tree and local conditions. For example, trees grow faster in a forest than in a city, so this method gives very approximate results.

How to measure the diameter of the barrel?

To measure the circumference of the trunk, it is convenient to use an ordinary tailor's tape (if the diameter of the trunk is less than 150 cm) or a tape measure 3-5 m long (if the diameter of the trunk is more than 1. 5 m). Measurements with the help are usually made by two people: one takes the end of the tape measure and applies it to the trunk, the second takes the measurement. To measure the diameter of the trunk, a forest measuring fork is used. The simplest of them consists of a thick ruler up to 1 m long with divisions and legs - movable and fixed.

Stem gauge

What if there are no measuring tools?

But measuring tools may not always be at hand. What to do in this case? It must be remembered that a person is a measuring instrument in itself. For example, in an adult, the distance from the face to the fingertips of the outstretched hand is about 60 cm, the arm span (girth) is about 180 cm, the distance between the freely spread thumb and forefinger is 17-18 cm, between the thumb and little finger is 20 cm; middle finger length - 8-9cm, and the width is 2 cm, the length of the phalanx of the finger is about 2.4-2.5 cm (about 1 inch).

Some ancient measures of length compatible with the size of the human body.

Interesting facts from the life of centenarians.

Every day, leaving the house, we meet trees. They greet us with the rustle of leaves, cover us with these branches and leaves from the summer heat or rain. We know about the important role of trees in maintaining the earth's atmosphere: it is they who, with the help of chlorophyll, take oxygen from carbon dioxide and return it to the atmosphere, enabling people and animals to breathe and live. Many people know that some tree species purify the air from dust and harmful substances (for example, poplar), inhibit the development of pathogenic bacteria (for example, eucalyptus). But few of us think that these motionless giants are the longest-lived living creatures on Earth!

Who are centenarians?

There is a scientific definition - who is considered a long-liver. A long-liver is any member of wildlife whose life span is significantly longer than the average life expectancy of other members of its species.

Long-lived people.

Usually, speaking of centenarians, they mean only people. The Bible, for example, tells, for example, about long-lived patriarchs Seth (lived 912 years), Jared (lived 960 years), Methuselah (lived 969 years old). Whether this is so is unknown, since no documents have been preserved confirming the data of the Bible. According to the UN, a long-liver is a person who has lived 90 tons more years. It is reliably known about people whose age has exceeded this period: Frenchwoman Jeanne-Louise Calment (122 years old), Sarhat Ibragimovna Rashidova - a long-lived Azerbaijani (132 years old), Mohammed-Khoja Duridi - the oldest inhabitant of the planet (born in 1887). In Karachay-Cherkessia there is even a club of centenarians who are over 100 years old!

Centenarians of the animal world.

Long-lived animals are also known. For example, turtles (live up to 250 years), some types of mollusks (the oceanic venus mollusk is over 400 years old!), carps, sea urchins and sea bass (some individuals are up to 200 years old or more). The average life expectancy of elephants and whales is about the same as that of humans, but they can live up to 100 years or more. But sponges live the longest - up to 1500 years! It seemed like a very long time! But many types of plants live much longer!

Centenarians of the plant world.

Unlike humans and animals, trees grow throughout their lives. Therefore, it is natural to assume that the higher the tree, the older it is.

Conifers are one of the most ancient plants. They appeared on Earth tens of millions of years before the appearance of deciduous ones. As a result of longer natural selection, conifers turned out to have much more long-lived species. For example, larches - species that grow only in Russia and have much more rights than birch to be called "Russian trees" - live 500-600 years (5-6 times longer than long-livers of people!). Siberian fir lives up to 700 years, cedar pine (which is incorrectly called Siberian cedar) - up to 100 years. Everyone knows sequoias - coniferous trees from the Yellowstone Valley in the USA. They have a trunk up to 120 m high and up to 8 m thick. These giants live up to 5000 years!

(True, the fate of these giants was unenviable: in the pursuit of profit, most of the sequoias were cut down back in the 19th century and now no more than 50 trees of this species have survived, aged from 2500 to 3500 years. However, their seed children have spread throughout the world There are sequoias in Sochi, for example, on the square near the former Moskva Hotel, they are about 60 years old).

Sequoias: high and wide

But the oldest oldest American tree is not considered a sequoia, but a much less tall bristlecone pine from California (it is now 4845 years old!). Cypress trees, well-known to Sochi residents, do not lag behind American sequoias and pines: a specimen that has been growing in Iran for 4000 years has been observing human history. The pond cypress that grew up to 2012 in Florida was 3500 years old, and its neighbor began to grow 2000 years ago.

But they still live and live to the age of European firs. So, in Sweden, spruce grows, the age of which is neither more nor less than 9500 years! It was established not by counting annual rings, but by the radiocarbon method used by archaeologists.

In the Namib Desert in southern Africa, amazing velvichia grows - one of the oldest plant species. Unlike giant sequoias, velvichia rises barely half a meter above the ground, but it lives for more than 5000 years. That is, she was already half a thousand years old when the ancient Egyptians began to build their pyramids!

Welwitschia amazing

Another ancient coniferous plant - yew berry - is distributed throughout Europe from England to the Caucasus. In Great Britain there are specimens of yew that remember not only Robin Hood (XI century), but also King Arthur (VI century)!

Deciduous species

In general, deciduous trees are noticeably inferior to conifers in longevity, although surprisingly old specimens are also found among them. First of all, this applies to oaks. The number of veterans among them is especially large. At the gates of one of the colleges of Oxford University (England) in 1788 they cut down a giant oak tree, which was 9 years old.00 years. There is information that an oak grows in Lorraine (France), whose age is determined to be 1200 years old. Finally, the "Royal Oak" in Nordskoven (Denmark) is said to have lived in the world for almost 2000 years.

Buyukder plane tree in Turkey, according to local residents, is living its fourth millennium. The age of the famous edible chestnut on the slope of Etna in Sicily is estimated at almost 2000 years.

Oriental sycamore

Among fruit trees, habitual and familiar to us, apple and pear trees are durable. Wild, own-rooted, live up to 200 or more years, garden forms - up to 100-150. In central Russia, they live up to 150-200 years. Apricots live up to 300 years, mountain ash - up to 200 years or more.

Examples of tree longevity could be continued. The people honored and protected rare old trees, they were a kind of sights of the district. Scientists constantly identify, describe, take special account of such trees. In many countries, the patriarchs of forests fell into the category of natural monuments subject to, so to speak, personal protection.

What affects the age of plants?

Plants, unlike animals, grow throughout their lives. True, many trees, upon reaching a certain age, almost do not grow in height (for example, in oaks, growth in height stops at the age of 400-500 years). But the diameter of the trunk continues to increase throughout life. American researcher N. Stevenson believes that if people grew at the same rate as trees. Then by the age of 35-40, their weight would reach 500 kg, and they would retire with a weight of more than a ton.

The long life of trees is possible for several reasons.

Firstly, , it is facilitated by the fact that these plants extract nutrients, as a rule, from the atmosphere. From the soil, they take only ten percent of the substances necessary for life, everything else - from the air.

Another secret of longevity is the disunity and autonomy (independence) of wood vessels, which provide the tree with nutrients and water from its crown and soil. This allows the tree to continue to live even if one of its parts has died.

Another secret of is the plant's self-defense against adverse conditions. During cold weather or drought, the plant seems to freeze, almost stops its vital processes (microorganisms and some fish sometimes do the same), and, if necessary, sheds foliage and, as it were, falls asleep.

We all know about medicinal plants that allow a person to fight diseases. But many of the plants, including long-lived plants, are capable of producing protective compounds designed to fight deadly parasites and microorganisms (bacteria or fungal infection)

Determining the age of trees in different ways

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We want to start our research work with the fact that on one of the warm September days we went with our class on an autumn tour of the village of Pilna and looked into the Pilna park, located on the banks of the Pyana River. Our attention was drawn to the fact that the same-looking tree has a different height and thickness of the trunk. We noticed that the park has many different types of trees in good condition. But in the park there are sawn, broken and withered trees, there are overgrowths - and sometimes it’s hard to understand where the alleys are.

Examining the trees in the village and the park, we had a question: how long is the age of a tree? How to determine the age of a tree? The teacher told us that trees, like people, have their age. One tree can grow for several decades, another for several centuries. Throughout life, it is constantly growing, but only slowly.

We live in the countryside. Thousands of cubic meters of wood are burned in the furnaces of saunas and houses. Few of the residents think about what trees were sawn for fireboxes and cut down for household needs and construction. Some residents of the village of Pilna have an idea of ​​the park's trees as a property that does not belong to anyone. It is today that the nature that surrounds us is experiencing the growing influence of man


Interest in the study of trees growing in the park and the village of Pilna, and the acquisition of skills and abilities to determine the age of trees in various ways - purpose of our research work.


To achieve this goal, it is necessary to solve the following tasks:

Familiarize yourself with various methods of determining the age of trees.

Learn to work with various sources of information:

a) special literature on the topic

b) Internet

Select material for research (saw cuts).

Analyze the collected material for research and make the necessary calculations, formalize the data of your research.

Observe, generalize, draw conclusions that will confirm the hypothesis.

Draw the attention of people or the population to the importance of green trees.


We assume that the age of a tree can be determined by certain features.

Study period: from September 20, 2020 to February 20, 2021

Research methods: observation, survey, analysis, photography

Object of study: tree age

902 in the park and in the village of Pilna, tree cuts

Research work on the topic: "Determining the age of trees in different ways" consists of two parts: theoretical and practical.

Chapter 1. Theoretical part.

Research methods. Methods for determining the age of trees.

Survey of eyewitnesses of events

for mutations

BUR 906


according to the features of the bark

according to the thickness of the barrel

9000 , according to the annual ring . Interviewing eyewitnesses

Obtaining information about the date of planting a tree is the most correct source. This can be a survey of old-timers or viewing old photos from eyewitnesses of tree planting, by whom it was planted and when.

1. 2. Determining the age of a tree by the features of the bark

The age of a tree can be determined by the features of the bark. If you look closely, you can see that the bark of young trees is thin, smooth and clean. And with age, the bark of trees changes, becomes dark, becomes covered with cracks, not only the color changes, but also the bark. It becomes thick with old trees and begins to crack.

1. 3. Determining the age of trees by trunk thickness

To do this, measure the circumference of the tree trunk at 1.5 m above the ground. From the scientific literature, we learned that each tree, on average, is 2 cm-2.5 cm thick per year. And if the forest is frequent, then this figure is 1 cm-1 cm. 5 mm. This method of determining the age of trees does not disturb the growth of trees.

1. 4. Determination of age by tree rings

Tree rings - a layer of wood growth for 1 year. An accurate way to determine the age of trees is to count the growth rings on the log cabin of the trunk. How many rings - so many years for a tree. It should be noted that trees always form one annual ring per year. Weather conditions and other reasons lead to the formation of several rings or, conversely, the absence of rings in a year. From the log cabin of the trunk, you can find out in which year the conditions for growth were favorable.

While studying the literature on this topic, we learned that growth rings are counted at a height of no more than one and a half meters (50 cm). You need to count from the center. Rings can be of different sizes depending on weather conditions. On the saw cut, you can see dark and light rings, they alternate. We count only light rings or dark ones. In some trees, the core begins to rot with age. Annual rings that are inside the trunk are destroyed, forming a hollow. It is impossible to determine the age of such a tree.

1. 5. Determining the age of trees using the Pressler age drill.

The drill is screwed into the trunk to its very core, then the drill is removed. When screwing in, wood gets inside the drill, which shows the number of growth rings. How many rings - so many years for a tree. From the Internet, we learned that a drill is required for measurement, the length of which is not less than seventy-five percent of the diameter of the trunk. When determining the age of a tree with a drill, a small hole is formed in the tree, not through. But the trees themselves heal the wounds inflicted on them, since they secrete sap, resin in the place of the wound and fill the wound-hole with it, which prevents insects from penetrating inside the tree - this does not harm the tree.

1. 6. Determining the age of trees by whorls.

Whorls are used to determine the age of coniferous trees (spruce, fir, pine). Whorls are a group of branches that diverge in a peculiar way on a tree trunk. Every year, the trees grow several branches at the same level. If we count the number of whorls and add 3 years for pine, 4 years for spruce, because such branches do not form in the first years. By counting the whorls, we got the approximate age of the tree.

A whorl is a group of leaves, branches or flowers located on the stem at the same height in conifers.

Chapter 2. Practical part

Research results.

Conducting a survey.

Trees always attract attention and amaze with their size. We became very interested in what our classmates and students of other classes know about the age of trees and by what signs. We compiled a small questionnaire, which reflected the following questions: How many years do you think trees live? Name what trees? What do you think, what external signs indicate the age of trees? Do you think it is possible to determine the age of trees without cutting them down? Should old trees be preserved? We interviewed the guys 16 guys from their 2nd "G" class and 14 people from the 5th grade. A total of 30 people were interviewed (Appendix 1). The data obtained during the survey, we analyzed and entered into the table.

Analysis of the results of a survey of students in our school (30 students).



Answer options

Number of students



How many years do you think trees live? Name what trees?

1000 (Oak)


3. 33%

500 (spruce)



150 (birch)



100 (aspen)



50 (apple tree)




What external signs do you think tell about the age of trees?

Number of branches


Bark type

Girth of the trunk

Crown sizes


16. 67%










Do you think it is possible to determine the age of trees without cutting them down?



63. 33%





Should old trees be preserved?







As a result of the analysis of the answers, we found that many students approximately know how many years trees live, from 50 to 1000 years.

Many students wrote that the age of trees can be determined by the height of the tree. 63.33% of children believe that it is possible to determine the age of trees without cutting them down, while 11 people believe that they cannot. Almost all students believe that old trees should be preserved, because by preserving trees, we save nature. They are not only monuments of wildlife, but also witnesses of extraordinary events that took place in the history of the Pilna land.

We examined the age of trees in several ways.

2.1.1. The first method is a survey of other people. We investigated when birch trees were planted in our Pilnin park. After interviewing the oldest resident of the village of Pilna, Ekaterina Grigorievna Galkina, we learned about the history of the Pilna park.

In the 50s the last street of the village was Rechnaya street. Follow her to the river. Piana was a huge wasteland with thorny vegetation. In 1956, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of October, the authorities thought about this territory.

GV Voronin was the surveyor at that time. He was instructed to measure the wasteland and draw a plan for the proposed park, which, in honor of the approaching date, they decided to call 40 years of October.

On one of the autumn days of 1957, an activist gathered in the Leninsky garden to discuss everything related to the planting of a new park. Voronin's plan was approved, and it was decided to plant birches. The seedlings were taken in the Zhdanovsky and B-Andosovsky forests. The inhabitants of our village lovingly nursed their birch trees and watered them. After 5-8 years, a young birch round dance began to be visible in the wasteland.

According to eyewitness accounts, the birch trees in the Pilna park are 64 years old (2021-1957=64 years). And they interviewed the supply manager of our school Kazachkov E.G. We were interested to find out how old the birches that grow near the school are. The birch trees were planted in 1998 and were looked after by the students of the school in the first years. We calculated 2021-1998=23 years (Appendix No. 2).

2.1.2. The basis of the second research method lies in the analysis of the features of the cortex. Examining the birch bark near the old school, we noticed that the bark in the lower part of the trunk up to a height of 2.5 meters is completely black. It is covered with cracks and grooves, uneven and hard. There are a lot of lichens on the birch. This indicates that the tree is old. And on young birch trees, we saw a white, smooth and thin bark (Appendix No. 3).

2.1.3. We determined the age of the trees near one of the houses in the village and in the park by the thickness of the trunk. Together with the teacher, we measured the thickness of the trunk with a tape measure at a height of 1.5 m above the ground. The thickness of the willow trunk turned out to be 210 cm. It is believed that, on average, a tree grows in thickness by 2-2.5 cm per year. The teacher helped us calculate the age of the willow 210:2.5=84 years (Appendix 4, 5).

2.1.4. The next method of studying age is to study the cut. The study of saw cut is based on the method of ring analysis. From the sources, we found out that trees have the property of growing every year for a one-year ring.

We tried to determine the tree's age and growth conditions from the rings.

For research, we took a transverse saw cut of a linden tree. First, we carefully examined the saw cut with a magnifying glass, tried to make out the rings on the log cabin of the tree. We counted 5 annual rings. In the center they saw a loose core. The age of the tree is approximately 4-5 years. The width of the annual rings on different sides of the tree turned out to be approximately the same. The tree, apparently, grew on moist soil, fed enough. The condition of the wood was helped to determine the biology teacher of our school (Appendix 6).

We have noticed that some trees seem to start to rot at the core with age. Annual rings that are inside the trunk begin to collapse, forming a hollow. It is impossible to determine the age of such a tree. We were not able to count the number of growth rings in the old tree, because the wood in the center rotted, a hole formed (Appendix 6).

2.1.5. We learned from the Internet that it is possible to determine the age of a tree without damaging it with a device called a drill.

Use it to remove a pencil-thick piece from the stem and count the growth rings. Trees do not suffer from this. But we, unfortunately, could not find such a device in the Pilnin forestry.

2.1.6. Whorl age determination. To determine the age of the coniferous tree near the administration, we used whorls. This method is applicable only for coniferous trees that are no more than 30 - 40 years old. Whorls are a group of branches located on the stem at the same height. From the scientific literature, we learned that every year a tree grows several branches at the same level. We counted the number of whorls, it turned out to be 40, and 4 were added to the result, because branches are not formed in the first years. By counting the whorls and adding 4, we got the approximate age of the spruce: 40 + 4 = 44 years. So, they ate near the administration for about 44 years (Appendix 7).

As you can see, there are several methods for determining the age of trees. Some of them are quite correct, while others are not very accurate. These methods require damaging or cutting down the tree, while others require determining the age by calculating or collecting information about the tree's planting date. We believe that it is better to use methods that allow you to know the age of a tree without destroying it.

So, our hypothesis was confirmed: the age of trees can be determined by certain signs.

In the course of our research work, we studied the age of trees in the Pilna park and on the territory of the village of Pilna and found out that the oldest tree is a willow that grows on one of the streets of the village. She is 84 years old, according to the stories of old-timers, she was planted by one of the residents of the village (Appendix 5).

During the search and study of the age of trees:

learned to determine the age of trees in different ways

learned what types of trees grow in the park and in the village of Pilna

learned a lot of new and interesting things by researching the history of tree planting


In the course of doing research, we learned that trees are the lungs of our planet, and thanks to them we breathe. But most importantly, we realized that by preserving our trees and nature, we are not only protecting it, but also preserving history.

First, we presented our research in front of the class, and then at the school scientific and practical conference. Then they conducted a survey in the class. We asked our classmates why it is necessary to protect green spaces-trees? Most of the guys answered that without a reason it is impossible to cut down trees, as they grow very slowly. Each person should take care of the trees and take care of those trees that grow nearby and have their own history. They are of great benefit. And we came up with a proposal to hold community work days in the Pilninsk park every spring to clean up the park area and participate in the Feed the Birds in Winter campaign - after all, birds are orderlies of forests and parks (Appendix 8, 9).


Anuchin N. A. Forest Encyclopedia: In 2 vols. V.1/ Ed. G.I. Vorobyov, N. A. Anuchin, V. G. Atrokhin, V. N. Vinogradov and others - M .: Sov. Encyclopedia, 1985.

Bedouer K. Trees//Mini-encyclopedia in pictures. – M.: Makhaon, 2001.

Vohrintseva S.V. Trees and leaves / / World around.: Fantasyland, 2003.

Golovkin B.N., Mazurenko M.T. I know the world / / Encyclopedic edition - M .: Astrel Publishing House LLC, 2002.

Trees [Electronic resource]: Wikipedia. Free encyclopedia. – URL: http :// en . Trees (Accessed 11.03.2021)

Ilyin S. A. Trees. - M.: Ast-Press, 1996.

Kozlova T. A., Sivoglazov V. I. Plants of the forest -. In 2 hours - M. "Enlightenment", 2014.

Birches were planted in 1998 by schoolchildren. We calculated: 2021-1998 = 23 years old birch near the school.

Appendix 3

Determining the age of trees by the features of the bark

Judging by the features of the bark, this tree is old, it has formed a hollow, ants have made their dwelling there.

Young birches have thin, smooth and clean bark. These are young birches.

Appendix 4

Determining the age of trees by stem thickness

The birch in the park is about 40 years old.

The age of the birch near our school is approximately 23 years 58 cm:2.5 =23 years

Determining the age of trees by trunk girth

Appendix 5

The oldest trees in the village

The oldest tree in the village of Pilna is the willow, it is 84 years old.

This is a poplar, he is 82 years old.

Appendix 6

Determining the age of trees by annual rings

A saw cut of a fallen linden tree. The tree is about 5 years old.


barrel samples

Studying tree rings

Some trees begin to rot with age. In this case, the inner annual rings are destroyed, forming a hollow. It is impossible to determine the age of such a tree.

Appendix 7

Determining the age of coniferous trees by whorls

We counted 40, 45 whorls near the fir trees near the administration of our village, 40 + 4 = 44 years. Eliam is about 44-45 years old.

Application 8

Research work and community work in the park

We came up with a proposal to hold community work days in the park every year to clean up the park.

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