Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:21 pm
by dbhguru

It is time for an update on several topics of common interest. They are presented below.

Superlative Native Tree Database (SNTDB): As most of you know (I think), we established a database at Virginia Tech to hold our important tree measurements. The SNTDB currently has 2753 records in it. This is progress, however, it is only a dent in the project. We have over 34,000 posts in the BBS and they are literally laced with tree measurements. To be of historical, scientific, and even sporting, value, NTS measurements must be efficiently accessible. They aren’t. The SNTDB was developed at VA Tech as the solution to gaining efficient access. But building the database is no small undertaking. We’ll be at it for a long time. I’m now working on importing 1,004 tree measurements from Iowa, courtesy of the indefatigable Mark Rouw.

BTW, while on the subject, you have to be signed up by John Peterson at VA Tech to enter data into the DB. To do that, you need to go through either Don Bertolette or yours truly. Just send us your email address if you want to enter your data in the DB. The attachment is the latest version of the instructions. Don and John Peterson will be reviewing it, so there may be another version in the near future. However, you must be proficient in NTS measuring methods. No exceptions.

Our data will eventually find its way into VA tech’s VTree app to communicate species maximums to users of the app. We are nowhere near having enough data to do that yet.

As a final comment, on this topic, let me state clearly that neither Don nor I have any vested interest in the data. It is NTS data used for the purpose described above. I say this because I’ve been pushing to get data into the database, which apparently confused one of our members. He wondered what my interest was.

Once the data are in the DB, everyone has the same access to it in the same way they have access to data in the BBS now. If you don’t want tree maximums that you may have established added to the database, that is entirely your prerogative. That said, it would surely be nice to show the world what we have accomplished as a group in a form that is accessible.

American Forests Update: We’re extremely pleased to announce that AF has brought aboard a new national champion tree coordinator. Her name is Eliza Kretzmann and four of us met her in Virginia on June 16th at the tree-measuring workshop. I was greatly impressed. Her coming on board is very good news for the National Cadre.

Basically, the national champion tree program had all but shut down and that had left the Cadre out in left field. There was lots of thumb-twiddling going on, and loss of interest. However, frustration from the sidelines isn’t even in the ballpark compared to what Don and I have felt. Both of us have ground our teeth down to gum level, It has taken biblical patience to soldier on, but alas, the clouds have parted and the rays of sun give us hope that the dark days have past.

Oh yes, we now have 40 members in the Cadre including Sheri Shannon as an honorary member. Finally, we will resume our monthly telephone conference calls with AF. First one is this Thursday.

Dendromorphometry Update: NTS is one of the primary sources for developing advanced tree-measuring techniques for sport measuring. We have the topic on the BBS, but since 2013, most of our effort has been redirected toward American Forests tree-measuring guidelines. This winter, we’ll be working on an update to the measuring guidelines that will include the latest “gobsmacker” techniques.