Exploring maths through problem solving

Problem of the Week

Norfolk Island Pine

By Heather McMaster

This beautiful Norfolk Island pine is an evergreen tree that’s a native to subtropical regions in the South Pacific. What do you estimate to be the ratio of its maximum width to its height? How did you estimate it?

Answer:

I got a ratio of 7:9 when using a ruler.

This surprised me. From just looking at it, I imagined it to be much taller relative to its width. I think that imagining a height to be more than it is, relative to a width, is a perception that many of us have. The trunk might also make the height more obvious.

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