How Do Trees Age?

Old peopleWhether they are willing to admit it or not, most people are not looking forward to aging. Sure, young children may wish they were older and didn’t have to listen to their parents, but for most of us, aging is not fun. In fact, reducing and covering up signs of aging is a multibillion dollar industry. In this regard, as well as many others, we are nothing like trees.

While aging may be a slow, agonizing process for humans, the opposite can be said for tress. Most of our growing takes place when we are young. We sometimes grow as much as a foot in a year after hitting puberty. Once we reach our early ‘20s, we are simply done growing. In fact we tend to get shorter once we hit old age. According to a new study, trees actually grow faster when they are older.

A new study published in the scientific journal Nature examined 403 species of trees. Researchers found that throughout these 403 tree species, 97% of them grew at faster rates when they were older. Scientists went on to say that this means a single large tree can produce more carbon and be just as beneficial as several midsized trees.

The results of this study were surprising to some, and actually went against some commonly held beliefs that old trees are no longer useful in regards to carbon production. This study proves that old belief is not true, and goes on to truly illustrate how different we are from trees when it comes to the aging process. If only researchers could find out how to unlock this anti-aging power in humans!