Wednesday, July 28, 2010

age of conifers

Anonymus does not believe the age estimates I am giving of some American conifers. Here are just three of many samples which all tell the same story:
Big one - Ponderosa pine 237 rings
small light one Ponderosa pine 232 rings
small dark one Rocky Mountain Juniper 229 rings
Hundreds of cutting show the same pattern: On pines one inch of radius is about 200 years. On junipers one inch is about 300 years and more.
I have a Ponderosa pine with a radius of ten inches. It's your guess how old that is. According to my cuttings it must be 500 to almost 2000 years. Margin of error is 1000 years.
I own a Rocky Mountain Juniper with a radius of 6 inches. So this must be between 1000 and almost 2000 years old. Margin of error one thousand years. These are not exceptions. This is NORMAL. It is just not common knowledge.


Hirth Janos said...

Wonderful bonsai.

Hirth János- Hungary.

Anonymous said...

hello Walter, again.
Thank you for posting some requested pictures :-) I did not say i DONT believe according to me, i said i have hard time believing and accepting without real proof of some kind. It is easier to accept if one sees proof, you know that too, you also need to experience and see before you got to where you are now. And why else would i look on your site if i was not a huge fan of your bonsai work ;-) ? However, the big one shown here with 237 rings, is somewhat amazing yes, it is hard to see on the picture but i take your word for it. I count (just outside the darker area only about 6 to 10 rings in maybe a fifth of the total diameter, that is what i can see good on the picture. But hey, who am I to disagree if you say you have the proof :). I know some trees get very old, reaaaally old, i knew that allready :). But anyway offcourse you can only compare those estimates to similar trees in the similar locations. It does not count really to compare one situation to another situation elsewhere. That is all i wanted to say.

avicenna said...

Hallo walter,
in a former post you reported once about one of your junipers which should have an age of about a thousand years. At that time I thought you exaggerates extremely , however, because I could not imagine with the best will in the world that this is true. Now you have taught me of a better one :-)


Igorilla said...

Stunning RAW-MATERIAL with tremendous capability, Walter!!!

Rgds, Igor

Walter Pall said...

Well, you can write to Larry Jackel. He did the cuttings and he did the ring counting.
In the end it is not really important how old these trees are, It is just interesting.

Anonymous said...

The wrong thing, in my very humble opinion, is that you say that every (for example) Ponderosa Pine grows one inch of radius in about 200 year, but this depends on many factors. Exactly because there are 200 years old Ponderosa Pines 50m tall.

Walter Pall said...

I never said that 'every' Ponerosa or juniper grow that old. This is your own interpretation of what was never said. This would be a stupid argument. Don't invent things to point at someone.

Anonymous said...

Just meant to say, that 1 inch of radius could be few years or hundreds years growth, depends on many factors.
My previus post wasn't to deny you Mr. Pall or invent things, was just to define.

Walter Pall said...

OK, if you insist on stating the obvious. This is a given, of course and needs no mentioning.

Anonymous said...

Hi anonymous, I live in Denver, Colorado and the trees I collect grow in very harsh conditions and not in the open ground. These trees are deprived of water nutrients and space. The struggle every year to live.

I know it is hard to believe that these small trees are this old. But it is true. I have killed a tree and then done a cross section on it. Just with my naked eye and not polishing the wood I counted 150 ring on it and the trunk was less than 2". So I know i missed a few.

Also the rings are so thin how can you see all of them from a dithered picture on the internet when one usually uses a magnifying glass to count the rings?

Hi Walte!r Love your blog and trees. Come back to Colorado.


Walter Pall said...

The orgin of some confusion here may be that some are not aware that this thread is a direct answer to some remarks in the thread about new trees at Nature's Way Nursery. There my age estimates were seriosly questioned. So I am only speaking of these old gnarled trees for bosnai material, of course.