Just How Big Is That Tree?

Ever been deer hunting and wondered just how high or big a tree might be?

TallTreeThe Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry has a cool site as part of its state champion tree program. The three-step process is something you could try and find out how big your trees are. You might even win a bet with a buddy!

To offer a champion tree nominee for the ODNR program, you should measure the trunk circumference in inches, the vertical height to the nearest foot and the average crown spread to the nearest foot.

But if you’re only interested in the height of the tree, here’s how the ODNR suggests measuring it:

Tree Height
The total height of the tree is considered to be the distance between the base of the tree trunk and the topmost twig.  The most reliable measuring tools are the Abney hand level, clinometer, or transit. If these tools are not available, one can measure the tree’s height with a straight stick.

  • First, measure the distance from your eye to the joint of your thumb and index finger (arm is stretched out).
  • Next, hold the stick straight up and down at arm’s length in front of you and make sure the portion above your hand is the same as what you measured from your eye to your hand.
  • Step backwards until the tree’s base appears to rest on the top of your fist, while the top of the stick appears to touch the top of the tree. At this exact point, the height of the tree is equal to the distance from the base of the tree to you.
  • Place a stake in the ground and measure (in feet) from the trunk of the tree to the stake to find the height!