Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How do trees grow up?

The other day I was driving through a spruce plantation. The leader of some the the trees were incredible. Many in the plantation were more then 50 cm in length and a couple of the superstars were in the 90 cm range.

How do trees grow?

Here is a question I ask of everyone that comes on a tour with Muddy Mark, at the greenhouse, or on a hike with me at Kettle Lakes Provincial Park.

The tree we are standing beside is about 20cm in diameter. This tree grows about 50 cm in
height every year. Today we put a mark in the tree, we will come back in 10 years.

How high will the mark
be when return?

It will be at the same place! Why? Trees only grow up at the tip. In forestry lingo it goes something like " the meristematic tissue elongates"

What is in the pictures is last seasons height growth. The growth is fantastic! If trees grow like this every year the trees would cast shadows for kilometers. Tree growth slows as they age.

Trees grow in diameter, that is why you can count the tree rings to determine the age.

Want to learn more? Try these links.