Anyone know of a good chart for the common UK species? Something to provide a very rough age indicator based on species and girth?
I've found an online calculator but its for US species, where you input the girth (in inches of course, as its the US) and select from a list of species common there.
These links give some idea of UK tree ages from their girth, but it's not straight forward !
https://www.wikihow.com/Determine-the-Age-of-a-Tree Some relevant information here. However the soil, climate etc where the tree grows will also determine the circumference. Growth will be less in bad years.
> Cut it down then count the rings. <
On a serious note one can count the rings by taking a core and not killing the tree....obviously taking precautions to avoid fungi etc infecting the tree. Used to do it at uni but not sure if the method is recommended now.
The world's oldest living tree, Methuselah, a Bristlecone pine in the White Mountains in California/Oregon, was dated by core sample to being 4854 yrs old.
Believe it or not another specimen was cut down to estimate its age as they (US Forestry Department)couldn't get a complete ring count by core. It was found to be much older.
Vandalism of the greatest order.
I agree with Oldie. There are so many factors affecting this: latitude, soil type, altitude, exposure, rainfall, etc.... all of which can vary widely even over just a few miles of distance (well, except latitude).
I wouldn't credit any calculation of age based on circumferance and species as being even vaguely accurate or reliable.
edit : google says not but I’m not convinced
There are a few in Pollok Park that are very tall. Comparing them mentally to the climbing wall, they must be c30m. But I think that's not too uncommon when they are allowed to grow in good conditions. According to Woodland Trust tree app they can grow up to 35m but I think these too could exceed that.
The trunks girth of two that I measured were 3m+.
The tallest UK Scots Pines according to Monumentaltrees.com the 3 tallest Scots Pines in the UK are in North Yorkshire (Dalby forest & 2 at Beck Dale, Helmsley at 41m, 42m, & 43m, so you aren't too far out with your estimate.
Quite right magma! hight records I mentioned are in Dalby Forest which is only a few miles from my home - so they won't be too old (or fat round the middle!) I haven't been to the ones near Helmsley but I'm pretty certain they are in a similar woodland/forest location.
This may be of interest. I live on the northern edge of Coed y Brenin Forest and according to Natural Resources Wales data, the tallest tree in the forest is a Douglas Fir at Pont Tyn y Groes at 161' (49m). There was a Grand Fir standing at 192' (58.5m) a couple of miles up the valley from the Douglas, but it lost its top (and its crown) in a recent storm. Both trees were planted in 1931.
Thanks - I might be coming down to Snowdonia next week or two - if I get rained off and/or have the time I might just go and see it.
Its not far off the UK record for Douglas Fir - the tallest is at the Hermitage in Dunkeld Scotland, and is now over 212 ft tall and was planted in 1887 !! I must admit that I've never stopped to see it on when I've passed by!
from memory it doesn't seem much different from its neighbours (also Douglas Firs) but its in a bit of a hollow so although the tops of the trees are all level, the one in the hollow is a bit taller. But it must be 30 plus years since I last visited.
This is good resource if you are interested. It’s normally considered the definitive list of champion trees in the UK https://www.treeregister.org/
The John White study was based on info from Windsor Great Park. It’s a great piece of work and it’s pretty accurate for there and probably a good chunk of the South East of England but is only useful as a guide for other parts of the UK.
> Its not far off the UK record for Douglas Fir - the tallest is at the Hermitage in Dunkeld Scotland, and is now over 212 ft tall and was planted in 1887 !! I must admit that I've never stopped to see it on when I've passed by!
think it's blown down;( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hermitage,_Dunkeld
current tallest is nr Inverness: https://www.monumentaltrees.com/en/gbr/scotland/inverness/7375_reeligglenmoniack/
still relatively young if you look at US specimens- wonder how high they will get..
> There was a Grand Fir standing at 192' (58.5m) a couple of miles up the valley from the Douglas, but it lost its top (and its crown) in a recent storm. Both trees were planted in 1931.
that's impressive growth- most firs that height are considerably older.
Wales did briefly hold the UK tall trees record but had to be felled;(
> think it's blown down;( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hermitage,_Dunkeld
That's sad. Visited a few times, it was a slender tree, seemed much more so than the Moniack Glen ones, and there were two unusually good pics, one summer, one winter, in Pakenham's Meetings with Remarkable Trees. Up the road at Dunkeld is a huge but not tall larch, a historic tree, and then further up is Diana's Grove in Blair Atholl with a champion red fir from what I remember and much else. It was ages ago we visited, yes? We never did find that huge lawsoniana somewhere around there. Can you remember where that was? Or was it by Loch Ness?
Eta: I've checked it and it was a red fir
yes, slenderness made Hermitage tree slightly underwhelming for photos and you couldn't easily get close to it, unlike Moniack.
found another Douglas fir in Wales that could hold UK height record and only 100 years old! : 67.5m (cf 66.7m @Moniack):
there seem to be quite a few trees of different species hovering around the 65m mark atm. would be nice to see the Grand fir taking the record (have you visited https://www.monumentaltrees.com/en/gbr/england/cumbria/7733_skelghyllwoods/ ?), but Sikta spruce is in with a chance (64m/2013)...
> only 100 years old! : 67.5m
That's amazing, isn't it. Given that the world's tallest are the coast redwoods in California @ c.116m, you've got to wonder whether British trees will catch up, windthrow hazard class or no. But then maybe that Hermitage Douglas is a harbinger? The really tall ones here as there do seem to be at the bottoms of steep valleys, as you'd expect, but how much does that protect their crowns against the wind? Not much, I'd suspect.
This thread still going? Do you have a specific request to estimate the age of a particular ancient tree. If so I could probably redirect you to the leading enthusiasts/authorities on this. If it's a general chart type question, sorry it's beyond my expertise.