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Introduction of Jeremy Quirós

This is my first time posting for the Eastern Native Trees Society site, I was pleased to learn of this site from my good friend Bart Bouricius, whom I came to know thanks to the interest we both have in Nature and especially our mutual friends the trees. I was born in Costa Rica and I live in a mountainous area belonging to the central valley. I am currently a graduate of the National Technical University of Costa Rica in Forest Management and Wildlife. I work at Juan Castro Blanco National Water Park and also on projects for the recovery of forests in surrounding areas with the National Technical University. I´m also an enthusiastic botanist, and I’ve been doing botanical inventories for 4 years in different places along Costa Rica. I hope my posts will be of benefit for you and if I can help you with information about plants or animals from Costa Rica I would love to help.
by Jeremy Quirós
Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:02 pm
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Costa Rica: Guardians of Water: giants hidden in the river w

In Costa Rica there are very few sites with remnants of old forests that harbor large trees. Most of the sites with these characteristics have remained on the banks of the rivers and on steep slopes where the farmers chose not to clear the forest, since they were not suitable places for agricultural exploitation. In these small fragments of forest is found one of the largest known tree species in Costa Rica. Called tirrá or cenizo, Ulmus mexicana is characterized by growing on the banks of the rivers at medium elevations.
This habit of growing in steep areas near rivers, taking into account that these trees are located between elevations of terrain, makes them appear majestic to the human eye, though one cannot always appreciated their large size from a distance.

On our expedition (Bart Bouricius, Rodmy Lobo and me), we visited the Juan Castro Blanco National Water Park, located between the towns of Zarcero and San Carlos in Alajuela province, however, the two largest trees we found were precisely in the kind of sites described above, in steep areas on the banks of the rivers.
We found the first Mexican elm (an English name) on the route from Zarcero to San Carlos, 200 meters after the “Ambientes” Bar Restaurant. This tree, apparently had lost the upper part of its trunk, nevertheless, it remains a tree that rises well above the tops of the other mature trees. This individual was measured using a 360 ° Sunnto clinometer and a Nikon 440 Rangefinder. According to measurements, the visible trunk, has a height of 169.28' (51.59m). The true base was impossible to see from a distance and approaching it was really complicated, because it would involve crossing two precipices of more than 40 meters depth. It is quite possible, that when the hidden part of the tree is measured, this tree could exceed 200' (61 m). Though we used the clinometer with a tripod, the distance of 220 yards to the tree is a factor to consider in evaluating this measurement.

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The second Mexican elm was found in the basin of the Rio La Vieja, only 100 m upstream of the bridge of the same name, on the route from Zarcero to San Carlos. This tree is possible to observe from the bridge, since it is a tree of tall trunk and few branches, which makes it stand out from the other trees. Measurements were made with the same equipment, resulting in a minimum of 61 meters when using the clinometer and the rangefinder from the bridge.
I made a second measurement by walking to the tree on the left bank of the river with a depth of 60 meters to the channel and a slope of the land of over 50 °. This made it quite difficult to reach this tree. Once at the base of the tree, I measured the minimum height of the tree using a straight up shot with the Nikon 440 rangefinder resulting in 191.88' (58.5 m). Its circumference was calculated with a measuring tape resulting in 16.8 feet or 5.08 meters, and a diameter of approximately 1.60 m (5,24 feet).

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With this trip we prove that the current literature on the vegetation of Costa Rica seems to underestimate the maximum height of this species, where maximum heights of only 40 to 45 meters are claimed. In Mexican literature individuals of this species up to 87 meters (285 feet) in height are indicated, something that in Costa Rica would mean the Mexican Elm, could potentially surpass the gigantic “ceiba” (Ceiba pentandra) or the "probado" (Pterygota excelsa) both with known heights of 65 meters (213 feet).

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These beautiful trees, with small leaves and thick and straight trunks are a natural spectacle between the months of December to February as they produce new leaves of a pink color, contrasting with the green of the forest, which makes them stand out and beautify the landscapes in the highlands of Costa Rica. Its beauty, majesty and its close relationship with water bodies make them worthy of the importance that the ancient Celts of Europe gave elm trees in their mythology, considering some trees of this genus (Ulmus) as gods, and guardians of the water.
by Jeremy Quirós
Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:31 pm
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Re: Costa Rica: Guardians of Water: giants hidden in the riv


Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate that you like the tropical stuff. I'll keep sending information about our forests.
by Jeremy Quirós
Mon May 01, 2017 10:29 am
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