UKTC Archive

Re: Estimating tree ages based on trunk diameter/girth

Subject: Re: Estimating tree ages based on trunk diameter/girth
From: Wayne Tyson
Date: Jan 12 2022 20:07:07
Mostly, listen to Grumpy and Michael.

I might add that genes and environment = a lot of variation, as do season,
irrigation, fertilization, etc.

Sixty years ago, I did a lot of increment boring on conifers. They heal
well. I don't know about broad-leaved trees, but suspect that sterilized
tools, dowels, and closure with pitch or other suitable materials congenial
with meristematic tissue might be advisable?

WT

On Wed, Jan 12, 2022 at 12:55 AM 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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