Dating the age of an oak tree

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Look at a cross section of log and you’ll see these growth rings fanning out from the older inner rings to the newer outer rings.

In general, rings can be used to determine a tree’s age, particularly in species like oaks that reliably produce an annual ring. Pines, for instance, may occasionally miss a year or even double up for two yearly rings, and trees living in unique microclimates (such as being located near a stream with an abundance of water) can experience either enhanced or stunted ring growth.

On the contrary, wide rings may indicate a wet-season or the death of neighbouring vegetation, permitting rapid growth.

While this method may only work on dead trees, it is not impossible to date a living tree.

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Next, calculate the diameter and then multiply the diameter by the species’ average growth factor. Here is a chart for trees and their associated growth factor.

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Determining the age of tree by counting annual rings is called Dendrochronology. As the tree gets older, it will lose its whorls and markings will be left behind.

Count from the bottom whorl up to tell how old it is. If a tree is cut down, look inside the core for circles. The circles start off very small in circumference and get larger with each ring. Although there are different names, these spaces are commonly referred to as springwood and summerwood.

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