Determining the Ages of Trees
This project determines the ages of trees without cutting the trees down to count the rings in their bases.
What is the best method for distinguishing the age of a tree?
- Trees (choose a variety)
- Tape measure
- Pen and paper
- A “growth factor” chart for trees
Note: If you happen to stumble across a tree stump, take the time to identify the tree and count the rings in the trunk to find out the age of the tree.
- Find an area that has a variety of trees (park or playground).
- Find your first tree sample, and at approximately three to five feet from the ground, measure the circumference of its trunk.
- Find about four more types and sizes of trees and record their types and circumferences.
- Follow this formula to calculate the diameters of the trees: Diameter = Circumference divided by 3.14 (pi).
- Multiply the diameter of each tree by its growth factor (found on Growth Factor Chart) to calculate the approximate age of the tree.
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.