Study Finds Older Trees Grow Faster Than Younger Ones

Geo Beats
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Scientists have discovered that the older a tree gets, the faster it grows.

Scientists have discovered that the older a tree gets, the faster it grows.

They acknowledge it’s counter to what we’ve come to believe about living things – that they grow quickly when they’re young and then stop.

For a long time, trees were included in that group, but no longer.

The researchers examined tree growth across over 400 varieties, both tropical and temperate, and found that 97 percent of them exhibited evidence of accelerated growth in their later years.

Beyond being a cool fact, it changes what we understand about the ability of older specimens to absorb and process CO2.

Prior to the study it was erroneously believed that younger ones did most of the heavy lifting when it came to pulling carbon out of the air and turning it into wood.

The team’s leader explained that it’s a matter of perception.

He said, "If you were able to take one year's worth of growth off of a really big tree, just peel off that outer ring and add it all up, that ring may be very narrow, but the tree is so huge that the surface area is enormous."

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