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How fast do oaks grow?

Research by Torston Moller is seeking to find a way of aging trees using the girth of trees. It is hoped that by analysing data from the Tree Register of the British Isles Torston may be able to find a way of estimating the age of oaks.

The Tree Register of the British Isles has nearly 300,000 records of tree measurements going back to 1630, with some individual trees having recorded re-measurements over a 200 year period and many trees having data going back 100 years.

With some 35,000 trees with a known planting date this is providing evidence of growth rates for many species across Britain.

Recently the data for oak has been analysed by Torsten Moller. In his initial research, an established method for estimating the age of large and veteran trees is reviewed in the context of historic girth measurements of specimen oaks spanning up to 231 years.

This data is used to recalibrate the earlier model and to generate an improved scheme for predicting the probable age of ancient oaks from single traditional measurements of girth.