How to Tell How Old a Tree Is and When to Replace It

How to Tell How Old a Tree Is and When to Replace It

Your favourite tree in the garden is usually the big old one with a thick trunk and dense canopy of leaves. These trees usually offer the coolest shade, they usually house several animals like birds and lizards, and kids enjoy climbing up and down those chunky branches.

But those big old trees can sometimes cause concern because they usually pose the biggest risk of damage to your home if there is a storm or if they start dying. Replacing an old tree isn’t something that should be taken lightly. In this guide, we show you how to calculate the age of your old tree and we offer some tips on when and how to replace it with a younger tree.

How to Tell The Age of a Tree

The easiest way to tell the age of the tree is by doing some research on when the tree was planted. But this can sometimes be hard to determine if you don’t have a way of getting in touch with previous homeowners.

The best alternative method for calculating the age of the tree without cutting it down is by using an increment borer. This tool is drilled into the tree and 25% past the trunk centre. When the drill is extracted, the centre will contain a bit of trunk in tow. You will now be able to examine the rings on the tree and counting these rings will give you a pretty good idea of the age of the tree.

When to Start Replacing an Old Tree?

Like all living things, trees eventually die. It is rare for a tree to die of old age. Most trees die of diseases, insects, wind stress, pollution, soil erosion, soil compacting, and other external factors.

Some trees do however have an average life span. Fruit and ornamental trees typically live 15 – 50 years, olive trees typically live for 500 years, and larger tree types like redwoods or bristlecone pines can live up to 5,000 years.

It usually is best to only replace an old tree if you are sure that it is reaching its end, if it poses a threat to your home, if it is diseased, damaged or if the tree is dying.

When you are considering replacing an old tree, it is also important to keep in mind that the new tree will take a couple of years before it will provide you with fruits or shade. Most trees take about 7 – 10 years before they reach maturity and are fully grown within 30 years.

How to Replace Your Old Tree

Planting the new tree in the same spot usually isn’t advisable. This is because the old spot likely contains diseases that might have resulted in the death of the old tree and the soil is usually deprived of nutrients. But this can be a good thing because it likely means you don’t have to remove your old tree just yet.

The best way to replace an old tree is by starting a new tree a couple of meters away. Give the new tree some time to establish and slowly start removing the old tree by cutting out branches to clear space for the new tree. It is important to clear space for the new tree because it needs plenty of sunlight to grow tall and upright.

When the new tree reaches a good height and starts thickening in the canopy, you can consider chopping down the old tree and getting the stump removed.

It is always best to get your tree cutting and removing done by professionals from Big H Trees. These tree experts can help you remove large tree branches as your new tree grows and they can assist with tree and stump removal when it is time to clear out the old tree. The old tree can then be turned into mulch that can nourish your entire garden as well as the new tree. For tree felling Melbourne, call us today for free quote.

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