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Formulas for Estimating Tree Ages

A well-known tree expert, M. W. Staples of Kent Ohio, has been credited with developing guidelines for estimating the age of large trees.

The formula is as follows:

Tree diameter in inches multiplied by tree species multiplier = tree's approximate age.

Measure the circumference of your tree in inches at 4 feet from the ground. Divide the result by 3.14 (π).
Then for the species you have selected, use the approximate multiplier as listed below to determine approximate age.

Species

Multiplier

 

Species

Multiplier

White ash 5   Black and scarlet oak 4
Beech 6   Red oak 3
Birch 4   White oak 5
Elm 2   Sycamore 3
Hickory 7   Sweet gum 4
Norway maple 4   Yellow poplar 2
Silver maple 2   Walnut 3
White fir 7   Black maple 4
Hedge maple 4   Red maple 3
Sugar maple 4   Common horse chestnut 7
Yellow buckeye 5   River birch 3
European white birch 4   Shagbark hickory 7
American beech 6   European beech 4
Green ash 3   Honey locust 3
Kentucky coffee tree 3   Black walnut 3
Tulip poplar 2   Norway spruce 4
Blue spruce 4   Austrian pine 4
Red pine 4   White pine 4
Scotch pine 3   Black cherry 4
Douglas fir 4   Callery pear 3
Laurel oak 5   Pin oak 3
Shumard oak 3   Little leaf linden 3
American elm 3  

reprinted from: New Jersey Community Forestry Program

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