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**How to calculate the age of a tree**: instructions for **estimate the age of a tree** still alive or, more simply, counting the **trunk rings** main.

The only means you have for**estimate the age of a tree**still alive consists in observing the** barrel circumference** and apply a simple mathematical rule. When the tree is dead, you can**calculate his age**observing the characteristic "circles" that form inside the main trunk. On this page we will see**how to calculate the age of a tree**using both methodologies.

### The growth rings of trees

Is called**dendrochronology**and it is a dating system used to calculate the**age**of a tree by exploiting the so-called**growth rings**.

### How wood rings are formed

Trees grow both in height and in width. For growth horizontally a "ring enlargement" was observed. **How are tree rings formed? **

Every year, with the arrival of summer, the vegetative activity of all plants increases, thus producing new cells in the layer immediately below that of the bark. Growth is intense in the spring and slows down in summer until it stops completely in late autumn. Growth stops and the new ring is formed.

Over time, year after year, the**wood rings**, one for each year of the tree's life.

For**calculate the age of a tree**all you have to do is count the number of rings in the main trunk. The observation should be made when the trunk has just been cut: you will notice how the color of these rings is not always uniform as well as the thickness of each ring. The light color is due to the spring cells which are larger and more porous, while the darker colors that are interspersed between one ring and the other are due to narrower and smaller cells, formed in the summer-autumn period.

With rainy and very bright years, with optimal soil fertility conditions, there will be thicker rings, while when the climatic trend is unfavorable to the growth of the tree, the ring will have a less generous formation.

### How to estimate the age of a tree based on the circumference of the trunk

The second system is certainly more inaccurate but allows you to**calculate the age of a tree**still alive! It is an imprecise method because each tree can grow differently: certainly a tree that thrives in an area where its ideal growth conditions are present, for the same amount of time elapsed, will end up with a much longer trunk. large than an identical tree but grown in a more critical area.

The**mathematical calculation**for**estimate the age of a tree**it's very simple, all you have to do is equip yourself with a meter and calculator. What do you need?

For the**calculation of the age of a tree**you will need:

- a flexible meter capable of measuring the circumference of the tree trunk of your interest (seamstress meter)
- a calculator (you have to do a simple division)

Measure the **circumference** with a measuring tape. Write down the measurement and divide this value by 2.5. The result you will get should represent the years of life of the plant. As stated, the estimate is very indicative, there are different growth times for each species and the same species can have different growth if placed in different growth conditions! In any case, with this calculation you will have an approximate estimate of the tree's real age.

### How to estimate the age of a bonsai

Neither the mathematical calculation, nor the rule of**wood rings**, can be useful for estimating the age of particular trees such as i**bonsai**. As for the**wood rings**, with observations made at particular enlargements, it is possible to define the**age of bonsai**but also in this case the main trunk should be cut. For a**bonsai**still alive, it is particularly difficult to estimate their age. In any case, when it comes to**bonsai**, it is not the age of the plant that matters but the amount of time devoted to its growth.

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