UKTC Archive

RE: Estimating tree ages based on trunk diameter/girth

Subject: RE: Estimating tree ages based on trunk diameter/girth
From: Penlington, Robert
Date: Jan 12 2022 14:11:08
Paul,
I’ll see if I can dig out a research paper for different species : ages 
illustrated through cone and line graphs to scan over for you.
Wokingham District’s VTA Oak line graph shown to pg4 to this link is the 
closest I’ve been able to find on-line  
https://www.wdvta.org.uk/pdf/Estimating-the-age-of-trees.pdf

Some figures from Windsor Gr Pk Oaks
[cid:image002.png@01D807BE.31071CC0]

Kind regards
Robert

From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info <uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info> 
On Behalf Of Paul Barton
Sent: 12 January 2022 08:56
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
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 
(https://www.newport.gov.uk/documents/Leisure-and-Tourism/Countryside/Measuring-Trees.pdf<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<http://www.barton-hyett.co.uk> | Barton Hyett 
Associates Ltd | Arboricultural Experts





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