Fun Facts About Wood

   Share a new fact each day
   during morning announcements
   in anticipation of Artmobile's
   visit to your school!





  1. In 2005, with the help of NASA satellite imagery, it was estimated that there were approximately 400 billion, 246 million trees on the earth. That would be approximately 61 trees per person.
  2. The oldest workable wood/lumber on earth is Ancient Kauri (Agathis australis). The trees from ancient forests on North Island, New Zealand have been buried under peat moss since the last ice age. They are well preserved and are now being dug up from the tundra. They have been radio carbon dated to approximately 30,000 - 50,000 years old. Of course, 50,000 years is the ultimate limit of radio carbon dating so it is quite possible that these trees could be older!
  3. It is estimated that the Ancient Kauri trees were growing approximately 12 - 20 centuries before they were buried by ice. Some of the trees have a circumference of approximately 40 feet and heights of almost 200 feet. The Ancient Kauri trees are native to New Zealand and are not found anywhere else in the world.
  4. The world's tallest living standing tree, a softwood Coast Redwood (sequoia sempervirens) named Hyperion, is in Redwood National Park located in California. Last measured in October 2006, it was approximately 379 feet, 1 1/2 inches tall (almost 38 stories!), or about 8 stories higher than the Statue of Liberty.
  5. In the Wasatch Mountains in Bryce Canyon National Park located in Utah, there exists a tree network of 47,000 Quaking Aspen trees nicknamed Pando, (Populus tremuloides), growing from a single root system. The root system is estimated to be over 80,000 years old although the average age of the trees, measured by counting the tree rings is approximately only 130 years old. It is genetically uniform and acts as a single life form, thus changing the color and shedding the leaves of all the trees in unison. The entire system covers approximately 106 acres and weighs about 6600 tons.
  6. In an article written in 2004 and featured in the weekly magazine "Nature," experts have theorized that the tallest possible height that any tree could obtain is 400-425 feet. This is because of gravity and the friction between water and the vessels of the tree through which it flows.