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Hello from the Sierra Nevada

Hello, I'm Duncan Kennedy, cofounder and head honcho (also the one who does it all) of the Sierra County Big Trees Project. I don't know if I really have anything else to say.
by DAKennedy
Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:16 pm
 
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Re: Hello from the Sierra Nevada

Thank you, Will, John and Bob, for the very warm welcome. I will try to get more accurate heights for the measured trees (and can do so now that I've figured out how to use the inclinometer that my mother gave me). There is one very large tree on there that I have yet to make a post about with a preliminary circumference measurement of 25' 0". I have already contacted Michael Taylor about that one, and he is planning on checking it out when he is up in the area later this month.
by DAKennedy
Sun Oct 04, 2015 4:30 pm
 
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Big Trees from a small county

Hello,

I would like to post some photos and stats for the giant trees that I've discovered over the course of my big trees project. These are some of the most impressive ones, over 5 and 1/2 feet in DBH.

First, a Sugar Pine found behind Calpine: 7.08' DBH, estimated height of 164 feet, and a crown spread of unknown proportions:
https://sierracountybigtrees.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/dscn7911.jpg

With my 6' 4" grandfather, standing next to this tree for scale.

Then for a 5.88' DBH, 200 foot tall (?), unknown CS Incense-Cedar:
https://sierracountybigtrees.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/dscn7914.jpg

With my 4' 11" grandmother and 4' 7" younger sister for scale.

And 50 feet from the cedar, a 5.44 foot DBH, 230 foot tall(?) unknown CS Ponderosa Pine.
https://sierracountybigtrees.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/dscn7917.jpg

Also with my grandmother and sister for scale.

Then two coast Douglas-Firs, one with a 6.92' DBH, and the other with a 7.00' DBH. The second one is named after a true big tree lover who worked for the local ranger district in the 1950s when they were logging, Mr. Charles "Chuck" Hardesty. I kind of wish that I could have met him. Both trees have my 5' 2" mother for scale.
https://sierracountybigtrees.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/dscn8546.jpg

https://sierracountybigtrees.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/dscn8553.jpg

And the coup de grace is a 7.96 foot DBH, 143 foot tall Sugar Pine:
https://sierracountybigtrees.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/dscn8591.jpg

Anyway, this area is (very suprisingly) infested with giants. I'll eventually have to visit one of the county's remaining stands of old growth timber.

Duncan
by DAKennedy
Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:38 pm
 
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Re: The world's most biomass-dense forests

Just out of curiosity, where were the Sierra Nevada values recorded? Also, in the Sierra the dominant tree species can vary in just a couple miles. The county I live in is home to a Ponderosa Pine/Western Juniper/Incense-Cedar system in the eastern part, on the eastern, dryer side of the Yuba Pass, before going up into a Sugar Pine/Incense-Cedar/Lodgepole Pine system above about 5600', on to a Red Fir/Lodgepole Pine/Western White Pine system above 6400' on to a Red Fir/Western Hemlock/Western White Pine system up to the highest elevations at 8600'. Then down the west side to a Jeffrey Pine/Black Oak/Douglas-Fir system below 4800' to a Black Oak/Western Dogwood/Sugar Pine system at the lowest elevations of 2700'. The county I live in is pretty darn diverse.
by DAKennedy
Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:14 pm
 
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Re: Big Trees from a small county

Something else that I should probably mention is my age. I am 13 (14 on 11/13) and am probably the youngest person on this BBS. I should also mention my education. I am homeschooled, which allows me to finish my algebra and move on to tree measuring on the weekdays. I also plan on attending the community college in January. Just something to note.
by DAKennedy
Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:53 pm
 
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Re: Big Trees from a small county

Here are more trees from a recent expedition:

DSCN8627.JPG


DSCN8639.JPG


DSCN8650.JPG


- Duncan
by DAKennedy
Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:00 pm
 
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Re: Recommended tools?

In addition to what Will stated, click over points become more important the farther you are from a tree. On a steep slope it can be a bit tricky because you want to make sure both shots are from the same height on the ground. On level ground you can move around more freely. On a steep slope you need to move left or right in most instances. Without using the click over point you can still get a fairly accurate reading but you'll be short changing the overall height anywhere from inches to a couple of feet, unless you are very far away, then you may be short changing the overall height by a yard or more.

At distance, the clinometer reading becomes more important. It's helpful if you lean against a solid object. Michael Taylor uses a tripod so that the clinometer stops completely and he can read to a tenth with dead on accuracy (he may be using a built in digital clinometer). A tenth of a degree doesn't change things much if you are very close but if you have to be a hundred yards out or more on a redwood it can make a very significant difference.

I'll have a chance to see that first-hand, as Taylor and I are planning to find and measure the gigantic Collins Ponderosa in Tehama County tomorrow.

I will keep these ideas in mind. That will help me use my rangefinder when I get it on the 13th (for my 14th birthday).
by DAKennedy
Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:56 pm
 
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Re: Giant Collins Ponderosa Pine

Photos:

CollinsBlackandWhite.jpg


Compare to this 1924 (or thereabouts) photo:

collins pine.jpg


-Duncan
by DAKennedy
Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:08 pm
 
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Giant Collins Ponderosa Pine

After reviving a thread from four years ago with info about the Collins Pine (very vague info from a ex-forester reporter), Michael Taylor told me to email him if I wanted to come with him looking for the Collins Pine. I said yes back on Tuesday, and earlier today I briefly got to meet him. He had already been to the tree, because of insomnia (from pain - let's just say that in an email from an hour or so ago he said his tooth isn't bugging him as much) and gotten relascope and height measurements. When my mother, grandfather and I finally found the tree, we found that IT WAS A BEAST! The tape wrap yielded a circumference at breast height of 26 feet 3.5 inches. That is equal to a diameter of 8.36 feet. The tree has a broken top but is still quite healthy. Stats are listed below.

CBH: 26' 3.5"

H: 147' (Michael Taylor's measurement)

Volume: 4,327 cubic feet of trunk volume (#8 living Ponderosa by volume, #10 of all measured by Taylor or BVP)

The tree tapers quite slowly. Comparing numbers on the volume calculating spreadsheet that Michael sent me to the numbers on other Ponderosas, this thing is thicker than the current champion in El Dorado National Forest at about 70' up.

Information as to the locale was quite hard to get out of the foresters. I guess that maybe playing the "I'm 13" card works. Still, by the time that I got a call back from the forest manager, Taylor had already located the tree on Google Earth. Photos shall be in the followup post.

- Duncan
by DAKennedy
Sat Nov 07, 2015 3:14 am
 
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Re: Giant Collins Ponderosa Pine

Links to views of more photos:

https://sierracountybigtrees.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/collinsponderosapine.jpg

Made by stitching seven photos together.

https://sierracountybigtrees.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/collinstapewrap.png

What the tape wrap looked like.

https://sierracountybigtrees.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/collinsafar.png

Itty bitty me standing next to the tree. I am 5'4", and I look like an elf standing there.

And...

https://sierracountybigtrees.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/collinsburn.png

A big burnt out hollow near the base. This is one of two.

- Duncan
by DAKennedy
Sun Nov 15, 2015 2:03 am
 
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Re: Big Trees from a small county

And more big trees, right across the road from where I live. The photo is of a 5.53' DBH Ponderosa, which is the largest in the grove:

DSCN8663.JPG


- Duncan
by DAKennedy
Thu Nov 19, 2015 7:54 pm
 
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In search of BIG TREES

image1.JPG


image2.JPG


The only problem with the article is that the picture is of Michael, not me.

- Duncan
by DAKennedy
Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:24 pm
 
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D's Tree Photos

NTS,

I'm going to use this thread as a place to post the best tree photos I've taken. And to start out, a real live Ent!

DSC_0124.jpg


There will be more where this came from. Look forward to it.

- Duncan
by DAKennedy
Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:19 pm
 
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Re: Tree Maximums - Tree of the Week: Sugar Pine

I should probably be more careful about posting on old threads like this, but this tree must be shared:

Species (Scientific): Pinus lambertiana
Species (Common): Sugar Pine
Form (Forest, Open, or Intermediate): Forest Grown
Height: 203.38'
CBH: 25' 0"
Maximum Spread: 57'
Average Spread: 47.5'
Site: Goodyears Bar
Subsite: Mountain House Road
Country: USA
State or Province: CA
Property Owner: Presumably US Forest Service, possibly on Brush Creek Mine property
Date of Measurement: November 22nd, 2015
Measurer(s): Duncan Kennedy, Michael Taylor
Method of Height Measurement: NTS Sine Method
Tree Name: Grandfather Giant
Habitat: Outlier(?)
Notes: Very slow taper, may be one of largest living sugars.

Also, another Sitka Spruce from Forest Giants is gone. I saw the Preston Macy Tree lying on the ground about 5 months after it blew down. See attached list (including updates from Michael Taylor)

Deaths from Forest Giants-mt updates.docx
by DAKennedy
Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:11 pm
 
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Re: Trigonometry Game (show work, post new problem)

X = 180' / SIN(60.0) = 207.8'

What'stheAngle.png


That was fun.

- Duncan
by DAKennedy
Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:35 pm
 
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New Tallest Sierra Lodgepole Pine

NTS,

Today, I had the chance to head over to the other side of Calpine Pass, to the north of Calpine, CA (where I live), to a magnificent Lodgepole Pine grove ( Pinus contorta var. murrayana ). There are many extremely tall specimens in the grove, which spans both sides of CA-89 and covers nearly 50 acres. I have had my eye on the area for some time, and I got the chance to measure a particular eye-catcher today. The tree is 131.10' tall, a new world record by 7 feet! It does not appear, however, that this tree is the tallest in the grove. The area has very good chances for producing a 140' class Lodgepole.

https://sierracountybigtrees.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/the-tallest-known-lodgepole-pine-in-the-world/

- Duncan
by DAKennedy
Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:22 pm
 
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Re: New Tallest Sierra Lodgepole Pine

All NTS should run numbers by Jess before getting too excited...

-Will

I'll also ask Dr. Van Pelt if he has measured any 130+' Lodgepoles. He may know of 160' class Lodgepoles.

That is a little disappointing. I still think I'll be able to find the record eventually.

- Duncan

Sounds like you have a little extra territory to cover before finding a new benchmark in height.

When you opened mentioning "extremely tall" , it brought to mind the tallest known maple which is near 160 feet, which I consider more or less short to middle range. So I was sort of expecting that one of the other tree hunter may have found something taller.

Remember, height is just part when it comes to nominating. A good percentage of points come from circumference . Unless height is what you are most enthusiastic about.

I'm not all that interested in finding a National Champion, just the world's tallest. A National Champion would have to be roughly 6' DBH and 120' tall. A thinner Lodgepole (the type most seen around my home area) would need to be 4' DBH and 200' tall! Pretty implausible, although I have seen pictures of a tree about 4-5' DBH on the flat below Little Truckee Summit. Stay tuned...
by DAKennedy
Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:25 pm
 
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Re: Update on American Forests Big Tree Program

Hmmm,

Let's see. I'm unsure that there is all that much local interest, although there may be a couple people in the class I'm taking at Feather River (Intro to Environmental Studies) that might be interested in learning the basics of tree measurement. Some places that may be good options (plenty of trees, nearby airport, large town/city, etc.) are Bend, OR; Reno, NV; Chico, CA; and Placerville, CA.

As for the college independent study idea, I'll have to check with my instructor to see if she knows. I'm good at Trig and Geometry (much better than I am at algebra). And I am pretty sure I know the difference between a single stem and a multi stem, as well as Sine vs Tangent (Tangent was a pain in the behind because of how much gear I needed to pack around and the inaccuracy of the results).

Thanks!

- Duncan
by DAKennedy
Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:13 pm
 
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Re: New Tallest Sierra Lodgepole Pine

I heard from Van Pelt that the only Lodgepole he has measured 150' or greater was 15' CBH and 150' H when he measured it in 1998. It is located (again) in the Plumas-Sierra County area, this time ~20 minutes from my home in Plumas-Eureka State Park.

I'll see what I can find there after the thaw,

- Duncan
by DAKennedy
Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:43 pm
 
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New Giant Trees from Owens Valley, CA

Greetings, NTS!

On Monday, April 25th, I measured two gigantic trees in the Owens Valley of California. Both were 63' 1" CBH, and 115.32' H, with a crown spread of 88.6'. The habitat is dry, dusty scrubland, and growing near the two is another tree nearly twice as big that I could not measure with my tape. Scientific name is Telescopus radioensis var. Caltechius . Common name: CalTech's OVRO Radiotelescope array. About 1 month late for April Fool's Day, but I HAD to do this.

- Duncan

DSCN8792.JPG

DSCN8706.jpg .
by DAKennedy
Wed May 04, 2016 11:56 am
 
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Re: Big Trees from a small county

Behold, one of my latest 7'+ discoveries! McMahon Mine is a hot spot for giant sugars. This one is the largest.

DSCN8953.jpg

This is the only one that I have photos of at the moment. It is the largest known tree at the site, but I do not believe it is the 9' DBH Sugar that the old-timer had described. There were also about 8 7'+ DBH Sugars at the site, and one 6' DBH Ponderosa. What was most impressive was that there were five 7'+ DBH Douglas-Fir.

I don't have any other photos, but I know that Michael does have photos of some others.

- Duncan
by DAKennedy
Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:40 am
 
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New Champion Mahogany FOUND

NTS,

Yesterday, I went with my grandfather Bill Harnach on a trip to meet a local named John Preschutti. John knew where to find a huge Mountain Mahogany, that we figured might become a new National Champion. We drove several miles down a back road to a small drainage, which we hiked up. Upon reaching the top of a ridge to the west of the drainage, we found the Mahogany. This tree is huge: 12'0" CBH, 22' H, 36' averaged crown spread! It is huge! The AFA Point total was 175 Points, making it the largest of the three Co-Champs!

This is the first tree I have measured as the newest member of the American Forests Association's National Cadre of Expert Tree Measurers. I was made a member yesterday after Michael Taylor sent out a "thumbs up" email to Bob Leverett, Don Bertolette, Matt Ritter, and the staff at American Forests.

- Duncan

DSCN8987.jpg

image1 2.JPG
by DAKennedy
Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:00 pm
 
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Re: New Champion Mahogany FOUND

Turner,

This tree was actually easier to measure than I thought it would be. It actually has a trunk (surprising) for the first 5 feet. At 5.5', it branches off into three huge branches, the largest of which is over 1 foot thick. It is a Cercocarpus ledifolius indeed.

Bart,

Deer LOVE Cercocarpus leaves. I won't be surprised if this remains a champion for years to come. It is growing on a talus slope right on a small seep.

- Duncan
by DAKennedy
Tue Jul 12, 2016 11:04 am
 
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Re: Exploring Lumpkin With Dunkin

lumpkin pondy3.jpg


lumpkin pondy2.jpg


lumpkin pondy over 8ft dbh.jpg


- Duncan
by DAKennedy
Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:03 pm
 
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Re: Exploring Lumpkin With Dunkin

Yesterday was an extremely fun day. My leg hurt a bit that night, but that is normal for me after a long bushwhack.

Here are photos. I'll have a post on Sierra County Big Trees soon enough.

DSCN8984.jpg

DSCN8983.jpg

The area also in near several known big trees, including the Hartman's Bar Tree, a former National Champion that was listed in BVP's book. There is also a report from downcanyon of a 8.5'-9' DBH Sugar Pine. That is unconfirmed, but it'd be awesome if it was that big.

The trip's only mishap was when Michael got stung by some bees. That was while we were attempting to measure the volume of the Lunker. I'll be interested to see what the volume of the Milsap Monster is. I'll have report of another big tree, a huge Doug-Fir located in nearby Onion Valley this Saturday.

- Duncan
by DAKennedy
Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:49 am
 
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