As a family, we spend a lot of time outdoors and I would hope that over the years, I’ve instilled a love of nature in my children.

So, because we enjoy the natural world around us and knowing that there are so many lessons to be learned through nature I will often incorporate little lessons or snippets of information whilst we are outdoors. One of those is to teach your children how to tell how old a tree is.

Count the Rings

The easiest and oldest method to know the age of a tree is to count the rings on tree stumps. Each ring is equivalent to a year.
Each year, as the tree grows, it develops a new layer of wood below the bark, and this formula the rings you see on a tree stumps if the tree is cut down.
These Rings will vary in size as the tree’s growth depends on several factors including the availability of water and nutrients.
tree rings
tree rings showing growth

Measure the circumference

Another way to determine a tree’s age is to measure the circumference of the tree.
You can do this by using a piece of rope to tie around the trunk and then measuring the piece of rope.
Average growth of 2.5cm represents a year’s growth, however, this measurement does differ depending on the tree species.
trees can be measured around their circumference

Count the whorl

Trees like pines, spruce, and fir trees grow new rows of branches each year. These rows are called whorls. By counting the rows or whorls of branches you can determine the age of the tree.
Fir trees grow new whorls each year
These are easy fun ways to get the kids outdoors and learning. Let me know in the comments below if you have tried any of these tree measuring methods.

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