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Do Different Tree Species Grow at the Same Rate? *

Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.


Trees grow more during the early spring than they do the rest of the year. Because of this period of dormancy, or lack of growth, each year of growth is marked by a line called a tree ring. You can count the number of rings in the cross section of a tree trunk to show how old the tree is. You can also count the number of rings in a stem to see the age of a stem or branch. One way to measure the rate of growth of a tree is to count the number of rings per inch. Trees with high numbers of rings grow very slowly, depositing many tree rings in a small amount of space with little growth in between. Trees with low numbers of rings grow rapidly, with fewer numbers of rings with rapid growth in between. You can often see growth rings at the ends of lumber. Try measuring the rate of growth for different types of lumber from different tree species. Which species of tree grow the fastest? The slowest? What does this mean for the sustainability of lumber as a building material? Which lumber is best to use for the environment? (Gardner & Webster, 1987, 36-39)

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Science Buddies Staff. "Do Different Tree Species Grow at the Same Rate?" Science Buddies. Science Buddies, 27 June 2014. Web. 25 Oct. 2014 <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/PlantBio_p025.shtml>

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2014, June 27). Do Different Tree Species Grow at the Same Rate?. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/PlantBio_p025.shtml

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Last edit date: 2014-06-27


Gardner, R. and Webster, D. 1987. Science in Your Backyard. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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I did this project I Did This Project! Please log in and let us know how things went.

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