How Much Does A Tree Weigh?

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Trees hold a majesty that nothing else in nature seems to hold. If you have a love or curiosity for trees, you may be wondering how much a tree weighs. We’ve researched this question thoroughly and have some important information about the weight of trees for you. 

Living trees can weigh anywhere from about 1000 pounds to about 2 million pounds. This is a very broad range because tree weight is influenced by several different factors. Some of these factors include:

  • Diameter
  • Height
  • Hardwood or Softwood
  • Volume
  • Density
  • Leaves or no leaves

Now you have a range of what trees can weigh and what factors can affect their weight, but you may want to know how to calculate tree weight. We elaborate on that and more in this post! Keep reading to learn how to determine tree weight, what the heaviest tree is, which tree has the thickest bark, and which tree has the thickest trunk.

A giant old beech tree in full foliage in a cloudy day, How Much Does A Tree Weigh?

How Do You Calculate the Weight of a Tree?

To calculate the weight of a tree, you will need to use a specific formula. However, let’s talk about the factors that influence tree weight before discussing the formula to calculate tree weight. 

Diameter 

Tree diameter directly correlates with tree weight. This means that when tree diameter increases, tree weight also increases. Therefore, trees with smaller diameters weigh less, and trees with larger diameters weigh more. For example, a hardwood tree with a 12 inch diameter weighs about 1500 pounds, whereas a hardwood tree with a 26 inch diameter weighs about 8400 pounds. 

If you’re looking at two trees that are considerably different in size, you can tell which one has the larger diameter. You may even be able to estimate the diameter of a tree by looking at it. However, if want or need to know the exact diameter of a tree in order to determine weight, there’s a way to find it.

To find the diameter of a tree, you must first determine the circumference at breast height. The circumference is the full curve length of the tree, and breast height is about 55 inches about ground. So, to find the circumference at breast height, you simply measure the curve length of a tree at about 55 inches above the ground. Obviously, to measure the tree, you will need a tape measurer. 

Click here to see a tape measurer designed for finding the circumference of objects on Amazon.

After finding the circumference at breast height, you can calculate the diameter at breast height (DBH) by dividing the circumference by pi. 

Height

Tree height and tree weight directly affect each other, just like tree diameter and tree weight do. Thus, taller trees generally weigh more, and shorter trees generally weigh less. For example, an 80 foot tall hardwood tree weighs about 20,000 pounds, whereas a 50 foot tall pine tree weighs about 2,000 pounds. 

If you want to see how tall a tree is, it may be difficult to actually measure it. Because of this, it may be best to estimate the height of the tree you’re analyzing. You can make good estimates by consulting the internet or a book for the height of that specific tree. 

Click here to find a book that includes the heights of trees on Amazon.

Hardwood or Softwood

Whether a tree is hardwood or softwood significantly affects its weight. Hardwood trees weigh more than softwood trees do. For example, beech trees are hardwood trees, and they weigh about 45 pounds per cubic foot, whereas cypress trees are softwood trees and weigh about 32 pounds per cubic foot. 

Giant old beech tree in full foliage

Bald Cypress Taxodium Distichum green tree in public landscape in sunny autumn

Volume

As the volume of a tree increases, the weight of a tree also increases. Because of this, volume significantly impacts weight. In addition to being a factor that influences tree weight, volume is a key factor in the formula for calculating tree weight.

Finding the volume of a tree is even more difficult than finding the height. There is virtually no way that you will be able calculate the volume without any mistakes. So, in order to determine a good volume estimate, it is best to search for the information in a book or contact an expert, such as a forester. 

Density

As with diameter, height, and volume, density also directly affects tree weight. Trees with larger densities generally weigh more. Like volume, density is an important component in the formula for calculating a tree. So, it is necessary to find the density if you want to figure out how much a tree weighs. 

You can search the internet or a book for density estimates of specific trees. 

Leaves or No Leaves

Whether or not a tree has leaves greatly influences a tree’s weight. The presence of leaves contributes to a tree’s weight, making it heavier, whereas the absence of leaves makes it lighter. For example, magnolia trees have a good amount of leaves, so the weight of these leaves will contribute greatly to the overall weight of the tree. 

Flagrant white flowers bloom in early summer

However, there are some trees that have little to no leaves, like tamarisk trees. Tamarisk trees are generally lighter than trees with a lot of leaves because they have a very small amount of leaves, which means they have less that contributes to their overall weight. 

Two Tamarisk trees in the morning sun of a spring day

Like volume and density, the weight of leaves is an important part of the formula for calculating tree weight. There are two ways that you can find the weight of leaves.

The first way is to collect a small sample of leaves from the specific tree you are examining. Next, count the number of leaves in this small sample. Then, determine the total number of leaves on the tree. You can do this by searching the internet or a book for the average number of leaves the specific tree has. Finally, multiply the number of leaves in the sample by the total number of leaves on the tree, which should give you the weight of the leaves.

The other way that you could find the weight of leaves is to simply search for the answer on the internet or in a book. This may be easier than the first method. 

Formula for Calculating Tree Weight

Finally, now that we’ve talked about all of the factors that affect a tree’s weight, let’s delve into the formula for calculating tree weight. 

The formula for calculating the weight of a tree is fairly simple. It is as follows: (volume x density) + leaf weight. So, in order to calculate a tree’s weight, you must multiple its volume by its density, and then add its leaf weight to this number. 

What is the Heaviest Tree?

Giant Sequoia tree close-up

The world’s heaviest tree is the giant sequoia. The heaviest giant sequoia is nicknamed “General Sherman,” and it is located in Sequoia National Park. It weighs about 2.7 million pounds, an astonishing weight for a tree! Giant sequoias grow to extreme heights and widths. On average, sequoias grow to about 250 feet tall and have diameters of 30 feet wide. 

What Tree has the Thickest Bark?

In addition to being the heaviest trees, giant sequoias also have the thickest bark of any known tree. On average, at the base of the tree, the outer layer of the bark exceeds two feet in thickness. 

Which Tree has a Thick Trunk?

Baobab trees, which are native to Africa, India, and Australia, have very thick trunks that give them a unique look. A baobab tree’s trunk can have a diameter of 29 feet and a circumference of 82 feet. 

Baobab trees at sunset

However, the baobab tree is not the tree with the thickest trunk; the tree that takes this title is the Mexican cypress. The Mexican cypress has a diameter of about 38 feet, and it has a circumference of about 119 feet. 

Tree of Tule located in the church grounds

In Closing 

There is a broad range for what trees can weigh, and a variety of factors impact the weight of a tree. The formula for calculating tree weight involves multiplying tree volume by tree density, and then adding leaf weight. With this formula, you should be able to determine how heavy any tree is if you ever need to do so. 

Before you go, check out our other articles:

19 Gorgeous Large Flowering Trees

11 Beautiful Trees Under 10 Feet

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