24 April 2015

Tropical trees

The skyscraping kapok’s yards-wide trunk, covered in wrinkled gray bark, rises and bends like a colossal elephant leg frozen midstep... Dutchman Dirk Groeneboer asks how old the kapok is. “We can’t determine the age,” says our guide, park ranger Hannah Madden... “There are no growth rings on tropical trees,” she adds, “because there are no seasons.”
I had never thought of that.  It would also affect the appearance of furniture, walls, artwork, and anything else made of such wood.

Addendum:  AM found a report published in Nature in 2006 indicating that xrays of tropical wood can reveal annular variations in calcium density that may be useful for estimating age of some types of wood.

(Reposted from 2013 for Arbor Day 2015) 


  1. There might be a method to test the age of tropical trees:


    1. Thank you, AM. I've added that information and the link to the post.


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