How old is that tree?

How old is that tree?

Today’s activity is a good one to get children thinking about the age of things in nature. How long does it take a tree to grow as tall as a house? It is well known that trees lay down a layer growth every year and that if you cut a tree down you can count the growth rings in the trunk to determine its age. But what if you want to know how old it is but don’t want to cut it down? Well, let’s do that now…

How old is that tree?

You will need:

  • a tape measure (or two depending on the size of the tree!)
  • paper and pencil
  • a tree at least as tall as a grown up

Head out and find a tree of a few trees you would like to know the age of. You can also identify the species of tree while your are there if you like. Remember we did that together?

Wrap your tape measure around the trunk of the tree at its widest part (the circumference). Make sure to take the measurement in inches.

Write down the circumference of your tree.

The number of inches long the circumference is is roughly the number of years old the tree is. This varies for different species of tree as some species grow more quickly and some more slowly but it is a good estimate of the tree’s age.

Is your tree older than you? Older than your Mum or Dad? Older than your Granny? What is the oldest tree you can find on your walk?

Do share your photos of your tree measuring with us. We would love to see what you find. You can email them to us or share them on Facebooktwitter and/or instagram.

Happy measuring!


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