Betel nut tree plantation growing on the slope of the mountain behind the wooden house. There are also known as areca palm.
This photo was taken on a trip for tea drinking session in Alishan Mountain.
How to count the age of betel nut tree in Taiwan? As in how old it has been growing.
There is a way to estimate the number of growth years for betel nut tree.
Each betel nut tree has trunk slim and thin that there grow almost vertically straight up along the gradient of the mountain.
The trunk of oil palm tree is much thicker and looks like a fan-shaped tree spreading out its fronds.Likewise, coconut tree has thick trunk but not growing straight up. It tends to bends towards the sea. We refer this kind of growth as propagation.
All these trees don’t have annual growth rings, rays, heartwood or branches.
The trunk of betel nut tree looks more like bamboo tree, however, not hollow within.
Between two connecting nodes of the trunk, we have a section of internode. So, the taller the tree is, the more internodes the tree has.
By counting this internodes, we are able to estimate the growth year of the tree.
According to the local farmers, betel nut trees growing in the southern part of Taiwan grow much faster than places located in the central part of the island.
For every 8 sections of internodes, we will estimate 1 growth year for that tree.
Location like Nantou county, it has cooler temperature. Betel nut tree cultivated in this central region grows slower. Therefore, every 6 sections of internodes will be considered as 1 growth year.
Basically that’s how local farmers estimate the age of betel nut tree.