## Tuesday, April 22, 2014

### Estimating the Age of Trees

Children often request The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein to be read in connection with learning about trees. It is about a little boy who loves a tree. As the little boy ages, he demands more and more from the tree until the tree has nothing left to give. Finally the cycle completes when the old man and the tree are united and happy together again.

After reading this book we discussed how counting the rings of a tree tells us how old it was. Now my son is counting the rings on every tree stump he sees and estimating the age of living trees. My favorite was when we went out to dinner in a log cabin restaurant and he counted the rings of several logs. He said all the trees were twenty years old.

Each species of tree grows at its own rate which can result in various diameters for trees of the same age. This makes identifying they type of tree more important.

There are many math skills involved in this activity.
Counting the rings.
Estimating the age.
Soon I'm going to suggest he keep a notebook to write down the data he has collected. After collecting enough data on tree species, number of rings and diameter he could create several different graphs to help with future estimates of tree ages.