|Thursday Tips: Tree Growth|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Thursday, 09 May 2013|
One of our Daily Dirt readers wrote the other day and asked a very good question. He wanted to know what it means in terms of measurements when one says that a tree is fast growing. Trees grow horizontally (as in growth rings) and vertically; however fast growing refers to vertical growth and not horizontal growth. I found this definition on the Arbor Day Foundation website:
“Rate of growth refers to the vertical increase in growth unless specified differently. Rate, as is true for size, is influenced by numerous variables such as soil, drainage, water, fertility, light, exposure, ad infinitum…The designation slow means the plant grows 12” or less per year; medium refers to 13 to 24” of growth per year; and fast to 25” or greater.” (Source: Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, by Michael Dirr).
These measurements refer to ideal growth conditions. Because trees and other plants do not live in a perfect world (like us!), environmental factors such as light, soil fertility, drainage and hydrology, and exposure to the climatic elements (wind for example) also affect tree growth rates.
For more information about growth rates and other tree measurements visit the Arbor Day Foundation.