How Long Does a Tree Take to Grow?

June 26, 2020 2:58 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The sight of a massive oak or redwood tree in nature is majestic and awe-inspiring. How long does it take for a tree to grow like that in Utah? Trees of that size grow to be that large over the course of many decades. But for all types of trees, even smaller varieties, growth is nonstop—trees will grow every year until they die, and some just grow faster than others.

An oak tree, for example, might grow 60 to 80 feet in 50 years, and can live to be hundreds of years old in the right circumstances. The larger the trunk, the older it likely is. Most trees will need around 20 to 30 years to be considered an adult tree. You can look at the stump of a removed tree and see how far apart the growth rings are to get a sense of how quickly they grow. The farther apart the rings, the more the tree grows in a single year.

The parts of the tree you can see above the ground will only grow during the growing season. However, the roots will grow all year long. This is why it’s often recommended that you plant trees in the fall—you can give the roots a head start on getting settled over the winter months so the tree has a stronger base when the growing season begins again in the spring.

There are a variety of factors that could affect the growth rate of a tree. Here are just a few examples:

  • Sunlight: Some trees thrive in full sun, others prefer shady environments and others like a mixture of both. If the tree doesn’t get the proper amount of sunlight or shade, then you can expect its growth rate to be on the slower side.
  • Rainfall: Especially when they’re young, trees need plenty of water to maintain a faster pace of growth. This is why it’s so important for property owners to stay on top of watering their trees in the first few years after they’re planted. They expend a lot of energy on growth in those first few years, and need to be fed with water to be able to maintain that energy. If you lack rainfall in a given season, you should make it a point to deeply water the tree a couple times a week. You can find plenty of instructions online to help you learn how to do this properly.
  • Soil qualities: The different nutrients and qualities you’ll find in the soil can play a role in how well the tree grows. This is also influenced in part by topographic location.
  • Competition with other trees: If there are other trees nearby, they will be competing for the same water and resources and might get “crowded out.”
  • Disturbances: Any environmental disturbances, such as construction, insects, fire or storms could all have a detrimental effect on tree growth.

These are just a few examples of some of the factors that are most likely to have an effect on the rate of tree growth. For more information about the years it takes for a tree to grow in specific circumstances here in Utah, contact Huberwoods today.

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