Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:08 pm
by Matt Markworth

Great example. It's a strong reminder that nature is "wiggly" - seldom in straight lines or geometric shapes and in a constant state of change. As an avid tree measurer I definitely think it's worth the effort to try to straighten out this wiggly world:)

I used to get concerned about the validity of trying to compare multi-stems to single stems for champion tree lists (which is why in the past I was a proponent of having two separate lists), but I've come around on that quite a bit. In the past I felt that deriving a certain number of points for a multi-stem would always have an element of being arbitrary, but, after all, even the big tree formula itself is quite arbitrary (with a mixture of inches, feet, etc). In the end, the number of big tree points that a tree has is simply a concept - in other words it's not an absolute truth of nature, but rather a conceptual truth of humans - and finding a way to more equitably compare various tree forms is just an addition to the concept of the big tree formula.

All that being said, can you provide us with a general snapshot of where the effort stands right now on trying to grapple with how to best compare multi-trunks to single trunks for the purposes of a champion tree list? The ongoing discussion over the past few years on this topic is probably the best example of all that it may not always be possible to find a perfect solution when trying to straighten out a "wiggly" world.