UKTC Archive

Re: Estimating tree ages based on trunk diameter/girth

Subject: Re: Estimating tree ages based on trunk diameter/girth
From: Alie Barnes
Date: Jan 12 2022 11:41:58
 
Hi Paul
I have some tree aging tables for various trees (oak, beech etc) which were 
apparently collated over time from known measurements of trees in Windsor 
great park, these are measurements for trees grown in a mostly open setting 
but might give you some indication as to ages, if you want a copy, i can 
forward on email. as i think they came from ted green you might be able to 
corroborate the tables with him to ensure they are as seems.    On Wednesday, 
12 January 2022, 08:55:56 GMT, Paul Barton <paul@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.co.uk> wrote:  
 
 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 
(https://www.newport.gov.uk/documents/Leisure-and-Tourism/Countryside/Measuring-Trees.pdf)
 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 year

Using 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

www.barton-hyett.co.uk | Barton Hyett Associates Ltd | Arboricultural Experts





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