UKTC Archive

RE: Estimating tree ages based on trunk diameter/girth

Subject: RE: Estimating tree ages based on trunk diameter/girth
From: Jerry Ross
Date: Jan 12 2022 09:27:34
Hi Paul. You've presumably ( not sure why I presume, but anyway) know this 
 It's just John White's system, but made super-easy to use. He describes it, 
of course, as being for 'large and veteran trees', but I'd say it's 
reasonably accurate for most mature trees (past their youthful high-vigour 
stage) . But it does sometimes give anomalous results. I queried the ages 
produced for some large (non - veteran) European (common) limes, which came 
out younger than I thought was likely. He told me that the statistics used 
for limes were from a particular stand of Large-leaved limes... Which didn't 
seem to apply to the Common limes I was looking at. The problem is that there 
are too many variables (and FAR too many old area TPOs!) Jerry Ross - from my 
-------- Original message --------From: Paul Barton 
<> Date: 12/01/2022  08:55  (GMT+00:00) To: UK Tree 
Care <> Subject: Estimating tree ages based on 
trunk diameter/girth Dear collective,I wonder if you can help me?  I am 
looking for a simple method to estimate tree ages as part of a preliminary 
review of some area TPOs - i.e. to assess whether trees that are present now 
were most likely present (or not) on the year the area TPO was served.I have 
come across various apps that claim to give an age based on trunk girth but 
after a brief test they seem to overestimate age (based on my experience 
only) as I suspect they are based on forestry plantation trees which tend to 
be more slender over time than open grown trees.I came across this document 
from Newport council 
 which suggests that tree growth rates could be split out in to slow, 
moderate and fast - each with a corresponding ‘average’ annual girth 
increase.  These are given as:• Slow - 1.88 cm per year• Average - 2.5 cm per 
year• Fast - 3.13 cm per yearUsing such values would allow me to classify 
species by growth rate category and therefore have a ready reckoner to 
estimate tree ages based on their girth.  It can never be claimed to be very 
accurate but for the purpose of quickly assessing hundreds of trees a 
repeatable documented method would be useful.BUT I don’t know if the above 
growth rate values are based on good data, ideally in the UK.Finally to the 
point (congratulations if you lasted this long)…can anyone point me to a 
reliable source of UK tree growth rate data so that I could verify or amend 
the above suggested rates of growth?Kind regards,Paul | Barton Hyett Associates Ltd | Arboricultural 
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