Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:01 pm
by edfrank
Don,

As you know I have been well into the discussions of single trunk versus multitrunk for years. I even wrote the Wikipedia document on the subject. As time passes and after my break from daily participation in the group, I am having heretical thoughts on the subject. Yes they grow faster and a multitrunk is not the expression of the best a single trunk might perform, but... Big is big and multitrunk trees with fused trunks seem to pretty much function as a single tree in ecological terms. Multitrunks are the standard for many species. At some point the distiction between fused multitrunk trees and single trunk trees becomes almost indistinguishable and it becomes a exercise in futility to try and determine if something is a single or double short of cutting the tree down. They are valid tree forms. The ideal option would be to have a list of the biggest tree whether single or multiple and a separate list for largest single trunk tree, where the tree is clearly single trunk. The goal should be to promote the idea of two valid listings rather than trying to unravel the mystery of fused trunks. In the mutitrunk tree all of the fused stems at breast height would be considered part of the tree's diameter.

Ed