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On a recent "field trip" I noticed the prominent rings that palm trees have where leaves were attached. Can you tell how old it is from these?

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  • Great question Kevinsky! I learned a lot from this...I would think that an average of leaf scars (amount within 2 feet or maybe distance between leaf scars)? based on palms of known age, the same species in the same environment could give a vague age? On a recent 'field' trip? How does one sign up for one of these field trips? Send me some sun via telepathy would you? – stormy Dec 21 '17 at 0:16
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This dendrochronologist says that some people extrapolate the age of palms from their leaf scars, and the time it takes to grow a leaf, but that the method is just a wild guess. But there is no other method that can be used intrinsic to the palm i.e. you can't count rings, and you can not carbon date.

  • This was cool to focus on in more detail. Been awhile. OK, so what I just learned? was that carbon dating is done on material that was ONCE alive and based on the difference of alive being the base line, the dead material can be given an approximate age? There is no way to carbon date live material? Right? Carbon dating shows the age since death? Would those leaf scars be able to be averaged to get an average age? This was a great question. Thanks Graham! – stormy Dec 21 '17 at 0:12

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