How to measure the height of a tree!

How to measure the height of a tree!

There are times when you need to know how tall something is. Do you know how to measure the height of a tree? We were walking around the other day deciding what needed to be pruned and planning on some new garden locations. Part of the problem was trying to determine how tall some trees were and how much growing they had left.

longleaf pine built soil loblolly

Loblolly Pine

This is important when you are trying to understand how much shade a particular area will get if you can tell how much is going to be shaded. Short of cutting it down you have to resort to some mathematics.

The basic mathematics that you are looking for is the fact that when you are looking at the tree you are looking at a triangle. The easiest way to find the height is following the Boy Scout way. This is very close to being accurate and will work in most cases.

While facing the tree take a stick and hold it at arm’s length away. Close one eye and sight along the top of the stick. The top of the stick should be at the same level as the tree. Then where the tree meets the ground place your thumb.

Slowly rotate the stick horizontal while keeping the thumb in line with the base of the tree. Have someone stand in sight path where the top of the stick is now. The most accurate part of the measurement is to have a 90° angle from you to the base of the tree to the new top. This will give you the right triangle. The helper can now measure or pace off the distance between their position and the tree and that will be equal to the height of the tree.

This will help you measure heights or widths of anything and can be very beneficial. All it takes is practice to get it right. Grab the kids and go get some practice in today!

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