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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Growing Conditions the Key to Understanding Veteran Tree Growth Rates

As if to prove the degreee of individual site specificity that we need to apply to our considerations when estimating tree age, a recent trip to Grafton highlights the dramatic difference in  growth rates in different conditions.

Located right on the bank of the Clarence River is a magnificent Fig Tree Avenue (Breimba Street, Grafton).

Each of these trees appear to be much bigger than  the fig tree at Southport in the last post...

Yet despite the dramatic difference in size and growth that these Ficus microcrapa 'hillii' demonstrate...they were in fact planted at exactly the same time as the Southport Bathing Pavillion Ficus benjamina, the explaination for any difference lies in the different growing conditions.

Being able to determine the age of specific veteran tree specimens accurately helps us to recognise just how detailed we need to be in our assessment of the history of growing conditions for a tree when the planting date is unknown.

Being 10-30yrs out is not a big issue and we shold always acknowledge the possible range inherent in our estimates, but being out by 80-100yrs could be a problem when we are framing a strong arguement to retain a tree based in part on its relationship to our own histories.

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