How old is your tree?

Ever wonder how old your favourite tree is? A tree’s age can say a lot about the area where it grew and its history. For example, a hundred-year-old tree would have been around when soldiers were just coming back from World War I and the world was recovering from Spanish flu.

Once you figure out the age of your tree, imagine what the world was like when it was planted. Did your neighborhood grow around the tree or the other way around?

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Materials required: tape measure, calculator, notepad and pen, tree species growth factor chart

Step 1: Measure the circumference, or distance around the tree by wrapping a measuring tape around the trunk. Record the number in inches.

Step 2: Calculate the diameter by dividing the circumference by 3.14 (or pi).

Step 3: Figure out the species of your tree and then multiply your diameter by the growth factor from this chart. This number equals the age of your tree in years!

  • Red Maple Species - 4.5 Growth Factor X diameter
  • Silver Maple Species - 3.0 Growth Factor X diameter
  • Sugar Maple Species - 5.0 Growth Factor X diameter
  • River Birch Species - 3.5 Growth Factor X diameter
  • White Birch Species - 5.0 Growth Factor X diameter
  • Shagbark Hickory Species - 7.5 Growth Factor X diameter
  • Green Ash Species - 4.0 Growth Factor X diameter
  • Black Walnut Species - 4.5 Growth Factor X diameter
  • Black Cherry Species - 5.0 Growth Factor X diameter
  • Red Oak Species - 4.0 Growth Factor X diameter
  • White Oak Species - 5.0 Growth Factor X diameter
  • Pin Oak Species - 3.0 Growth Factor X diameter
  • Basswood Species - 3.0 Growth Factor X diameter
  • American Elm Species - 4.0 Growth Factor X diameter
  • Ironwood Species - 7.0 Growth Factor X diameter
  • Cottonwood Species - 2.0 Growth Factor X diameter
  • Redbud Species - 7.0 Growth Factor
  • Dogwood Species - 7.0 Growth Factor X diameter
  • Aspen Species - 2.0 Growth Factor X diameter

Step 4:  Subtract the age of your tree from 2020 to determine the year of the tree.

What was happening in that year? Was it significant in some way? Perhaps share a story about what could have happened in that year.

(from Tree Canada’s Family-Friendly blog)

 

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