En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - How fast do trees grow?

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
7 ratings

Wednesday - September 03, 2008

From: Eatonville, WA
Region: Select Region
Topic: Trees
Title: How fast do trees grow?
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants I would like to know how to tell how much a tree will grow if the average of the trees are growing at the rate of approximately 3 to 3.5% annually. And how do they come up with that percentage. And how can we use that to keep an eye on the average growth on our trees. We thank you so very much for your time.

ANSWER:

As you might suspect, different species of tree grow at different rates. Some are fast growing like Arizona ash and are prized by developers and homeowners for their quick growth pace. Others, like many oaks, are known for their slow growth. In general, their is an inverse correlation between a trees growth rate and its longevity. Fast growing tress tend to have shorter lifespans and slow growing trees longer lifespans. IMr. SP doesn't know where you got the 3.5 percentage but its is pretty easy to tell how fast your tress are growing. Simply examine a twig on any tree and note the terminal bud covered by small scales at the end of the twig. This is the growing tip of the twig. Now work backward until you find a spot on the twig encircled by several scars. These scars are left by the scales that covered the terminal bud in the previous year. The distance between the terminal bud scale scars and the terminal bud equals one years growth (see illustration). You should examine several twigs on the same tree to get an overall idea of how much growth occurred on that tree in the previous year. Using this technique compare the growth on different species to get an idea of how fast your trees are growing.

 

 

More Trees Questions

Fast-growing medium-sized tree for New Jersey
July 06, 2013 - I'm looking for trees to put on a slight slope that will do well in rocky clay soil. I 'm in N.J. zone 6. The spot is full sun and would like a fast grower 50 ft high maximum. I'm replacing white p...
view the full question and answer

Underdeveloped pecan kernels with brown spots
December 24, 2008 - our pecan tree was loaded this year. it is a soft shell . some of the pecan meats are not fully developed and have small dark spots on them. could this be a blyte of somekind and if so what can we ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree for Phoenix
November 17, 2013 - I need your help. I'm looking for a pretty evergreen tree for my small front yard in Phoenix. One that is not horribly messy and doesn't get wider that 10 - 15 ft. I want to be able to decorate at...
view the full question and answer

Trees for home in Kansas
April 01, 2012 - I am needing help planting trees in my yard. It's a new construction home and I would like a tree that won't get into the septic system easily. Also, I have to plant 3 other trees as well due to the...
view the full question and answer

A tree to replace a pin oak in PA
January 25, 2011 - My 120 yr old pin oak has root and butt rot, 5 of 13 roots dead by pressure testing. I am in Pittsburgh PA. I want to plant a root rot resistant tree, either evergreen, fir or deciduous. The tree is 9...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center