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Activity Topic 4: Really Wild
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Tree Time Travel

How old is a tree?


You can calculate the age of your tree using some simple mathematics.

Circumference of trunk (cm) x 4 = Age (years)


Visit your local park.


Choose a tree for this activity and then follow these simple steps to measure the age of your tree:

1. Using a tape measure, measure the circumference of the tree’s trunk 1.5m from the ground.

This is known as the girth.

2. Calculate the age using the equation above.


A tree with a large girth, 12K


Did you know? Most single trees grow an average of 2.5cm of girth every year!

  Tree Time Travel Timeline
Tree Timeline, 4K

Many parks have trees at least 100 years old - as old as your great grandparents!

Oak trees can live at least 500 years so they could have been planted as long ago as 1500 - that's before King Henry VIII came to the throne.


Check out the Tremendous Tree Type Spotter's Guide below to identify your tree.

Tremendous Tree Type Spotter's Guide (39K)


Now look at the Tree Timeline to see how long different species of tree can live.
Tree Timeline (16K)


Print out the Tree Timeline and add the following dates:

The Battle of Hastings 1066

King Henry VIII crowned 1509

Queen Elizabeth I crowned 1558
Start of The First World War 1914
Start of the Second World War 1939
Queen Elizabeth II crowned 1952
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee 2002


Put your tree on the Tree Time Travel Timeline.
Tree Time Travel Timeline


A tree's life


Imagine what life was like when your tree was just a little shoot.

Write down what you think your tree would have 'seen'.

How many historical events can you think of between then and now? Make a timeline.


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