How to Calculate the Age of a Beech Tree

Overview

A beech tree is an extremely long-lived tree with a habitat that spans most of the eastern part of the country from Texas and Oklahoma east to Maine. Some varieties of beech have been recorded to be more than 250 years old. If you have a large beech specimen, you may be tempted to find out the age. Although you can take a core sample and count the tree rings without cutting down the tree, core samples can still open the beech to infection or insect infestation. A safer method for estimating the age of a beech tree is to measure the tree's girth.

Step 1

Measure a tree from its base to a point 4 feet up from the base. This will be roughly chest-high on most adults.

Step 2

Measure the diameter around the tree at this 4-foot high location.

Step 3

Multiply the girth width in centimeters by .45 to get the tree's age if the circumference of a beech is up to 400 cm in size.

Step 4

Multiply the girth width in centimeters by .5 to get the tree's age if the circumference of a beech is more than 400 cm in size.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Calculator

References

  • UK Forestry Commission: Estimating the Age of Large and Veteran Trees in Britain
  • Wild Things: Changing Views
  • Morton Arboretum: Tree Talk

Who Can Help

  • USDA Forest Service: American Beech
Keywords: estimating the age of a beech tree, estimating a tree's age, guessing the age of a tree

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."