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Wikipedia Artilces


I have published five articles on Tree Measurement to Wikipedia. Now my job is to fix problems with the articles and to keep idiots from screwing them up.

I will fix the reference's and add the images from the Wikipedia articles tomorrow. If anyone wants to help answer the comments or revise the articles based upon reviewer's comments, your help would be appreciated.

Edward Frank
by edfrank
Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:53 pm
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Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?


Just a few observations. Don and I have a real challenge on our hands with respect to the single versus multi-stem debate in the AF MGWG. So, we keep exploring the subject from fresh outlooks. We're not wavering on our personal positions, but we don't want to get surprised by arguments that we haven't considered. Until recently, some aspects were clear in my mind. For example, your position on what is a multi-stemmed tree that began from a single seed versus separate trees that fused is bolstered by years of experience as an arborist. This has been enough for me. But I presume the same can be said about the experience of Mario Vaden. As I read each of your posts, it seems that you reach different conclusions on what can be consider a single tree for conifers that split into two or more trunks at near ground level. I am hoping other arborists, foresters, horticulturists, etc. who observe tree structures will voice their opinions. Can any of these white pines that I am calling doubles actually be from one seed? My current conclusion is probably not, but Mario Vaden's posts have made me less confident.

My personal position is that the pith test is generally sufficient to identify doubles, triples, etc. in conifers most of the time. I can easily recognize a hardwood coppice, as can the rest of you, but for species like silver maple, I'm not always sure if I'm looking at two or more trees that began from separate seeds or a coppice that developed from a single root structure. In the case of the National Register, I would absolutely exclude the former from the competition, but would probably try to find a place for the latter. I prefer separate listings, but I'm not sure that I'll get my way.

by dbhguru
Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:33 pm
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Re: Lurking for months and finally joined :)

Hi Everyone,

I've been lurking on this board for awhile now and finally took the plunge and joined. I generally don't join discussion boards because I've found the discussion often devolves into childish name calling, but this appears to be a more mature group :)


Yeah, well, I think everyone of a certain age tried their hand at that at some point. In retrospect it was a whole lot less worthwhile than it seemed at the time:

by Rand
Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:14 pm
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Untranslatable Words





by edfrank
Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:06 am
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Re: Who's On Board?

Hi Don,

I am very interested in helping with this effort. I think the NTS-AF collaboration is a natural fit. I have the required (entry level) gear and the passion which I imagine are the two biggest hurdles. I know there are many eminently qualified ENTS in the western half of my state, and if I can be of help in the central piedmont of NC I am more than willing. I can't promise that I could be available at the drop of a hat, but I have a lot of experience stretching family vacations and work trips to include tree hunting. How much time or mileage do you suspect will be required of this volunteer position?
by pdbrandt
Mon May 05, 2014 4:57 pm
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Poison Springs SF Sand Barren & Oak-Pine Forest Preserve, AR


If you plan of spending much time in the woods of southern Arkansas during winter, muck boots are a good investment. A week after a heavy rain, scattered puddles still sit of the surface of the level, clay-rich soils. Another option for dry feet would be to stick to a band of sandier soils stretching from near Texarkana to south-central Arkansas. That region supports species common to the sand hills of the Atlantic Coastal Plain like bluejack oak, which are otherwise absent in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission has established two preserves to protect the unique conditions of the sand hills region. Unfortunately, they currently protect the underlying physical conditions much more than the associated plant communities. Pine plantations cover most of the preserves at the moment, but young sand post oaks and Arkansas oaks around the edges of the plantations hint at the communities the sites could support. The commission has also recently begun restoration of cut almost all of a sand post oak woodland by cutting almost all the loblolly pines and eastern red cedars that have grown up in the wake of fire suppression. One tract still contains mature oak-pine forest with loblolly pine to at least 126.4’ tall and post oaks to around 100’.

Arkansas oak drew me to the area. Arkansas oak ( Quercus arkansana ) is one of the rarest oaks in the eastern United States. Natureserve indicates there are fewer than 100 populations of the species, and the oak reaches its greatest abundance in southwestern Arkansas and the Florida panhandle. The trees with their small leaves that splay out at the tips and relatively smooth, slightly streaked bark probably resemble water oak more than any other species, but the leaves recall blackjack oak too. In form, Arkansas oak also resembles water oak, but water oak is a much larger species.



I spent most of my time on the recently restored slope. Sand post oak dominated one part of the south facing slope along with sparkleberry and scattered gum bumelia, fringe tree, Carolina buckthorn, and along the lower part of the slope Arkansas oak. This community transitioned on one side into a loblolly pine woodland that still had significant sand post oak and Arkansas oak and on the other sides into closed canopy forests. Most interesting of those forests is the slightly swampy stream bottom at the base of the slope dominated by sweetgum, red maple and sweetbay magnolia, an uncommon species in Arkansas.




by Jess Riddle
Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:08 pm
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Re: ‘Outfitter Tree’ rises high in Hermosa Creek drainage


Mark has found or been taken to a number of fine trees in southwestern CO. Last year he shared with me a 146-foot white fir. It blew my mind.

As the interest builds toward the kick off of the conference and the word spreads, others may come forth with big trees for us to measure. But whether they be big or old, I don 't think anyone will be disappointed in the trees we will see.

Monica and I are presently in Crestone, CO taking some R&R. Tomorrow we'll return to Durango. But this morning, we took a hike on the Willow Creek Trail. There is a long swath of old growth narrowleaf cottonwood, ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, Rocky Mtn juniper, pinyon pine, and a lone Englemann spruce. Here is a look at an old aspen and narrowleaf cottonwood with Monica in between.


The trees aren't large because it is sandy and dry, but no shortage in old trees. Ages are up there. Also, the aspen in the images os a hair under 70 feet. Most aspens in the grove are between 50 and 65 feet.

Hopefully, Lea Sloan of AF, Peter and Patty Jenkins of TCI, Steve Colburn of LTI, and all attending Ents can meet during the lunch period on Aug 5th to discuss a cooperative venture. Lea is the Vice President of Communications for American Forests. She'll kick off the Aug 5th agenda. But the fact that she is attending the conference speaks well for the connection between AF and NTS.

by dbhguru
Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:41 pm
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Re: Southwest Old Growth Forest Conference - Durango


Excellent. I'll see who else might like to go. I didn't want to commit the 4th slot until I heard from you.

by dbhguru
Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:46 pm
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Re: We are Tree Hunters

Given that so much of our time is spent outdoors, I don't think we're an "online-" or "cyberspace-" based group. Seems to me that either of those two characterizations of NTS is limiting, and should be omitted.

Also, a description of an organization and a Mission Statement are two separate animals. A mission statement should be a couple of sentences at most, and should describe the group's mission, not its interests or methodologies or expertise. I say, Cut, Cut, Cut! And then use some of what you've cut to craft a description of NTS.

by pattyjenkins1
Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:45 am
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2014 Trip to Southwest Colorado

I wanted to leave for the Colorado trip on July 29th, but as usual I was behind schedule so I decided to wait and get an early start Wednesday morning. My car, the Copper Crypt, a 1994 Ford Escort wagon, had been deemed not road worthy for a trip of any kind. Now time that should have been spent preparing for the trip was spent looking for a used car. At the last minute I took my wife’s car, leaving the new one for her.

Wednesday July 30th, I left Des Moines at 3:15 A.M. I was making good progress and the weather was good until I reached the Colorado state line where I encountered a steady rain. I made a short stop near Pine Junction to visit John, my best friend from grade school. It would be late before I made it to my destination at East Fork Campground between Wolf Creek Pass and Pagosa Springs.

In a downpour south of Fairplay, I attempted to avoid hitting a pool of water which sent me into an out of control spin at 65 mph! Despite at least two complete spins, I was able to keep the car on the road and headed in the right direction. The rainy weather was a consistent theme for the next five days. It was dark by the time I reached the campground but thankfully it wasn’t raining while I was getting my tent put up. During the night it rained very hard and I found out I had put my tent on a low spot where the water pooled. This is one of the disadvantages of getting to your campground after dark.

The next day, Thursday July 31st, I slept late and I spent time digging some trenches to drain the puddle of water and I moved my tent a few feet. I was anxious to check out a lead on some big Douglas-firs east of Pagosa Springs. If there were big Douglas-firs, I didn’t find them. The largest one I measured was only 123’ with a circ. of 11’. All was not lost though because I found an impressive aspen. The aspen had the following dimensions: circ. 7’6”, height 108’, spread 30’. This tree was only a couple of hundred feet from a very rough, hilly, dirt road. I was able to get the tree measured, but to the west I could see the rain coming. I made a speedy retreat before I could get photographs of the tree. It was a good thing I left when I did because there were some hills for my car to climb before reaching the maintained road. It was touch and go for a while but thankfully I made it up to the gravel road before the deluge reached full force. It turned into quite a downpour with lots of hail! I tried driving in the storm but my car started to slide on the road so I decided to pull over and wait. After about an hour this system had moved through so I decided to head back on foot to photograph the aspen. Before I was done taking photographs, I could see another storm cell approaching. With the severity of the previous storm fresh on my mind I kept up a brisk pace for the one mile uphill trek. Copious amounts of mud stuck to my boots which made the hike more strenuous. This cell followed a more northerly path, which would take it right over my campsite! The driving rain found its’ way into my tent. Luckily my sleeping bag was only partially wet.

The morning of Aug. 1st was spent trying to dry out my tent and gear. Since I didn’t have a full day, all I did was drive a few miles along the East Fork of the San Juan River. I didn’t see anything unusually large, but I did see a number of southwestern white pines or limber pines on the dry south facing slopes.

Aug. 2nd, I went to the First Fork Trail. Before reaching the trailhead I noticed two taller than average ponderosa pines not far from First Fork Rd. north of Piedra. One had a circ. of 10’6’’ and a height of 147.5’ and the other one had a circ. of 10’7” and a height of 152’. Two miles of hiking along the First Fork which flows into the Piedra River turned up nothing taller. It was a beautiful area though with many respectable ponderosas and blue spruce. At my furthest point on the trail, I noticed some relatively fresh bear tracks in the mud. I was attempting to photograph the tracks when it began to rain. Before I could get my camera and range finder in plastic bags, it started to pour. By the time I had everything put away, I was already very wet. In no time the trail became more like a creek than a trail and within minutes my boots were soaked. The heavy rain didn’t let up for about 45 minutes. By that time I was back to the trailhead.

I spent the morning of Aug. 3rd attempting to dry things out and taking down my tent because I would be going to another campsite for the next three nights. In the afternoon I headed for the nearby Wolf Creek area near Hwy 160. This is the location of the former state champion blue spruce. About twenty years ago I measured this fine tree to a height of 153’. It was in a low area near a small waterway and I expected this tree to thrive and get bigger over time. Last year, after a brief search, I was unable to find the spruce. This year I located the tree but it is a shell of its’ former self. At 11'2" the circumference had not increased much and 10' were missing from the dead top. If it had not been damaged, I think it would have been one of the elite blue spruce.

During the conference I stayed at a private campground so I could take a shower. It rained very hard twice which made it necessary to spend time drying things out again! The ground was very level so the ground was saturated with much standing water. I moved my tent to attempt to find a slightly drier spot and I noticed a large toad had been hiding under my tent. In all the years I’ve camped in Colorado this was by far the wettest.

The conference took place on Aug. 4th and 5th. Since Matt did such a good job of chronicling the conference in his post, I will not attempt to improve upon his report. I do want to thank Bob Leverett for all of the work he did to make this conference a success. I also especially want to thank him for inviting me to come out to Durango last year. His invitation reignited my interest in Colorado big trees which had been dormant for several years. I want to thank all of the wonderful speakers for their excellent presentations. I also want to give a big thank you to Sandy Young for being such a wonderful outfitter. She provided horses for riders at a nominal fee and she was an awesome leader on the Hermosa Creek Trail trip.

The horse ride on the Hermosa Creek Trail took place on Wednesday, Aug 6th and has already been well covered by Matt and some of the other NTS members involved. I was a little disappointed to find out the big Douglas-fir didn’t reach a height of 163’ but my goal, like other NTS members, is to get accurate measurements. Matt and I both used a True Pulse 360 rangefinder and we both found the height to be 161’. Our measurements concurred on other trees as well so I feel confident that our measurements are accurate.

The blue spruce (Dutch Creek Giant) that Will found was spectacular! A blue spruce of such height that also has a large trunk is a rare find indeed! The current champ in Utah is slightly larger on points but I wonder if it was measured accurately.

Thursday, August 7th, Matt, Larry, Chris and I hiked along the Piedra River on the Second Box Canyon trail. We didn’t go too far before we decided it didn’t look too promising. There wasn’t much time left so we planned to get an early start the following morning. We decided to start at the upper end of the Clear Creek Trail and head towards Hermosa Creek. It was a long rough road to get to the trailhead and some stretches of the road were covered with large rocks. We saw a large fox and several dusky grouse on the one hour trip to the trailhead.

The Clear Creek Trail starts out winding through a nice stand of aspens. Before too long the lightly used trail disappears. After only a few hundred yards we came to a sign pointing to the directions of two trails, including the Clear Creek Trail. Unfortunately, the sign was no longer accurate because the rocks holding the post had shifted. After a couple of wrong turns we decided on a route that involved bushwhacking down a steep slope to get to Clear Creek. None of us who were on the hike will soon forget the place we named Bushwhack Gulch. By the time we reached Clear Creek it was soon time to start the long uphill climb back. We came back on the other side of Bushwhack Gulch which provided more shade, but the steep grade and elevation proved to be challenging.

Although it was a difficult hike, I think we all agreed it was worth the effort. The prize of the day was a 152.5’ Engelmann spruce. I’m convinced there are taller Engelmann’s yet to be found but it may take some serious hiking to find these trees. The views from the upper areas of the hike were outstanding. We were also lucky to observe some interesting animals. I didn’t get to see the Martin but I did see a fence lizard, a short horned lizard and a large flightless katydid. I also found a fox or coyote skull. It is exactly midway in size between a typical adult red fox and a coyote. It was Friday and I was heading home Saturday so my big tree hunting in Colorado was essentially over.

After leaving Durango Saturday morning I stopped at the Wolf Creek area for one last look for big trees. While looking around this area I came upon a wandering garter snake which was the only live snake I saw on the trip. I was hoping there might be a huge undiscovered blue spruce here but the largest I could find was one with a trunk circumference of 11’4” and the tallest one was 148’. The best trees in this area are Douglas-firs but some of the biggest ones have died. Here are the dimensions of some of the largest living Douglas-firs:

Circumference Height

14’1” 136’
11’3” 142’
11’11” 149’
10’9” 154.5’
11’11” 157.7’

Since my last minute looking turned into several hours, I knew I would have to push it to get to a campground east of Denver. I shouldn't have taken the time but I stopped in Saguache to get a closer look at some tall blue spruce that I first noticed many years ago. I measured one to 103' and another to 111' . Could these be the tallest planted bue spruce?

I reached Denver at about 8:00 P.M. and then I started having car trouble. My speedometer needle started jumping around and my engine started cutting out. I was looking for a good exit to get off of the freeway but after a few tense miles the engine died. It couldn’t have happened at a worse place. I was on an over- pass with no shoulder! Luckily I was just able to coast beyond the over-pass where there was at least a shoulder.

Now what was I going to do? It was late Saturday night and the next day was Sunday. These are not the best times to try and find an auto repair shop. I called a tow truck and the driver was very helpful. He ended up towing me to an auto service center that did repair work on Sundays.

There I was right next to Broadway in downtown Denver on a Saturday night. I thought about checking to see if one of the nearby homeless shelters could put me up for the night. Since I had so much gear in the back seat, I decided to spend the night in my car. I know I don’t get out much but I had no idea how much activity and noise there would be all night long! Things did slow down quite a bit after 3:30 A.M. At some point a carload of loud talking kids parked right next to me and proceeded to cause a ruckus for at least an hour! When I finally did get to sleep, I was awakened by a young man that wanted to borrow my cell phone!

At 9:00 A.M. I was first in line at the auto repair shop. I was told it would be a while before they could get to my car and do a diagnostic. Two hours later, I was told it was the alternator and the battery was also shot. After a considerable wait I was told they had the wrong alternator so I would have to wait for them to get another one! I was hoping things would go smoothly but my car wasn’t ready until after 1:00 P.M. With almost no sleep and 700 miles to go I was finally on my way. The trip takes about 12 hours and I had to be at my job at 7:00 A.M. Monday morning. I made to work on time but it took several days to recover.

With much interest, I read Matt’s posts about the incredible trees he was finding after the rest of us left. Finds like an aspen 115’, the Leverett White Fir 162.4’, a 155’ blue spruce with a trunk circumference of nearly 13’, and a Douglas-fir 169’ are remarkable trees. The one that really blew my mind was the Protect Hermosa blue spruce which towers to a height 178.8’. I never imagined there was any tree in Colorado approaching 180’! Matt deserves all the accolades he can get for all of the hard work did to find these amazing trees. Despite the mishaps with my car and the rainy weather, the conference and the tree hunting trips were a success.
by Iowa Big Tree Guy
Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:14 pm
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A Lexington, KY Tree Tour


Many, many thanks to Tom Kimmerer for giving a private tree tour of some of the great trees of Lexington, KY last month. Landon Smith and I drove down from Cincinnati. We also had the great pleasure of meeting up with Mark Rouw. Mark did most of the measuring and I did most of the oohing and ahhing. I'll just provide photos for now and hopefully Mark can provide some measurements and more photos. I also have the luxury of easily visiting the sites for more measurements.









by Matt Markworth
Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:49 pm
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New oldest tree

Has this been reported here?

The oldest bristlecone pine is now 5065 years old.

A new record holder was recently recognized, a Pinus longaeva growing in the White Mountains of eastern California. The date on this tree was reported to me by Tom Harlan. The tree was cored by Edmund Schulman in the late 1950s but he never had a chance to date it before he died. Tom worked up the core only recently, and knows which tree it is. The tree is still alive, and the age given below, 5062, is the tree's age as of the growing season of 2012.
by KoutaR
Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:28 am
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Re: Hello

Dear Doug,
I'm sorry I'm revisiting the site almost after a year and saw your post now. I welcome you to Himalayas any time you wish to come to India. I'm a plant ecologist with interests in studying biodiversity, functional traits and productivity studies.
by amit
Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:11 am
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Tree Maximums - Tree of the Week: Populus tremuloides


Tree of the Week: Populus tremuloides , quaking aspen

"The Populus tremuloides , the round fine-toothed leaved aspen, shows the influence of the spring, this and some of the willows, more than any other trees or shrubs. Over a sandy bottom the brook water has one color; over the black sediment of decayed leaves another." - Henry David Thoreau, 3/29/1852

Populus tremuloides.JPG

The 115' quaking aspen on Clear Creek, along with it's "twin":



Larry's post on the 113.5' quaking aspen that Chris spotted:

Tall Aspen 2.jpg

Tall Aspen 1.jpg

Please reply with these measurement details if you've measured an impressive specimen.

Species (Scientific):
Species (Common):
Form (Forest, Open, or Intermediate):
Maximum Spread:
Average Spread:
State or Province:
Property Owner:
Date of Measurement:
Method of Height Measurement:
Tree Name:

Don Leopold video:

Tree of the Week Guidelines:

Tree of the Week Forum:

by Matt Markworth
Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:43 pm
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Pith Trace Perspective


I think this specimen is a good example of how the perspective of the photograph can have a big impact on the pith trace. If the measurer is trying to determine the best perspective to take the photograph, I think the best place is perpendicular to the imaginary line that connects the two suspected piths. If more than two piths are suspected, then separate photos could be taken focusing on two at a time (in addition to the four quadrants).

For this specimen, it's possible that more than two stems could have been apparent in the past, however for the purposes of this pith trace I am only showing two. The pith traces are straight, although I think some curvature may have been warranted, in particular to help with the curving side stem and to help avoid crossing the clear bark separation. Wrapping a tape around the entirety of this Missouri-grown cottonwood results in a circumference of 26'10" at 3.5' above the ground. It stands at 99' tall.

Missouri-grown cottonwood.jpeg

Missour-grown cottonwood, full tree.jpg

pith trace - 1.jpg

pith trace - 2.jpg

pith trace - 3.jpg

pith trace - 4.jpg

pith trace - 5.jpg

pith trace - 6.jpg

by Matt Markworth
Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:51 pm
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Asheville School

The Asheville School is a private school on a very large campus with some old forest and many exotic trees. It originated in 1900. I haven't explored very much of the forested areas yet. A handful of trees appear to be older than the campus so far. My guess is that much of the campus was open fields with some forest on slopes. There may well be some old growth patches but I do not expect to find more than a few remnants. Southern red oak is not very common around Asheville but it absolutely thrives at The Asheville School. Large southern red oaks dominate the lawns in front of the main buildings. Some exceed 3 1/2' diameter. These are stately trees.

In the forest, white oak appears to be the most common. They look taller than they are, likely in the 100-110' range but a few tall ones are likely present. The best spot that I saw had a few tall walnuts and southern red oaks. A winter expedition may net a new southern red oak champ. A summer measurement put it at a foot below the record. It may better the record in a winter measurement. The northern facing forest on the north side of the campus appears to be dominated by white oak and tulip. There may be some quality trees there but I didn't get the chance to explore that slope.

The exotics are doing well and one native tree on the lawn may be a new record. A double trunked redbud is very impressive. The larger trunk is 5'7" at abh and 5'4" at 4'. The trunks meet at just above ground level. The 64" circumference beats the maxlist specimen by 5". The smaller one comes in at a bit under 5', measured very low but it appears to be a double.

Just a handful of numbers:

Cercis candensis redbud 5'4" cbh 33.5' avg spread 34' max spread 27.3' height (only the larger trunk was measured)

Juglans nigra black walnut 121.5' 118.3' 115.2'

Quercus falcata southern red oak 126.4'

Oxydendron arboreum sourwood 78.5'

Metasequoia glyptostroboides dawn redwood 108.5' 94.7' 66.0'

Abies amabilis pacific silver fir 94.3'
redbud 1.jpg redbud 2.jpg
by bbeduhn
Tue Jul 07, 2015 12:04 pm
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A little late to the Colorado party...

While it was disappointing not to be able to make it to Durango this year, I did find myself in Colorado to visit my dad in Boulder at the end of July. He moved out there last summer and this is the first I've been out to visit. We did quite a bit of driving around and some camping in the week I was there. I had my measuring equipment with me but I didn't have much opportunity to use them- very little boots-on-the-ground time with the way my dad schedules sightseeing trips. I'll admit I found this a bit dismaying in particular when we traveled to Gothics valley above Crested Butte, one of Colorado's hotspots of botanical diversity. I'm as much an enthusiast of the lower-growing flora as the trees that rise above, and when it became clear that camp would not be reached until sunset and that we'd be back on the road again by 8am, I determined to get up at 5am to ascend partway up Gothics Mountain by sunrise (in spite of being fresh to the altitude) to satisfy my itch to do some botanizing. Gazing through the window of a car as the flora blurs past is not my cup of tea. The early rise was worth it, affording me the chance to encounter miniscule Heartleaved Twayblade Orchids beneath a stand of spruce high on the slope, amongst other microflora treats that are charismatic enough to me, at least.

Driving through the canyons out of Boulder to Gothics it was, at least, fantastic to finally see Colorado Blue Spruce in its proper environment growing as shaggy spires that appear as though they might have been planted by the moon, so vastly different from their stunted poor landscaping-plant brethren I'm familiar with here in the east. While I doubt I saw anything to exceed what's been measured in the San Juans, there did at least appear to be blues competitive in height with anything I've measured back east, emergents that I would expect to measure to well over 120' if I were only not sitting in a speeding motor vehicle. It was also interesting to note that the tallest emergent blues were more likely than not to have split leaders, which also seemed to be common in tall blues in the posts from the San Juans. I wonder if genes for exceptional growth are associated with genes for split leaders, or whether trees with split leaders gather more energy to fuel upward growth, or whether trees growing taller than the surrounding individuals (whether due to genes or advantageous rooting) are simply more prone to having their initial leader damaged by exposure upon becoming emergent and resulting in a split leader for the remainder of growth?

At the least it's clear to me that I have a lot of conifers to learn for the sake of being familiar with western montane forests. Eastern Hemlock, White Pine, and Eastern Redcedar constitute the full (native) tally in my neck of the woods, quite a difference.

We also visited the Great Sand Dunes national park as Bob has posted on in the past, which was pretty spectacular to see. We stayed at a tent-and-RV campsite a couple miles from the park entrance, on the low slopes of the nearby Sangre de Cristo mountains. This area was covered in dry, open pinyon-juniper woodlands which I took a short hike in. As I'm fascinated by cupressaceae it was a treat to see at least a couple different juniper species along with the sap-dripping pines, many gnarled old-looking specimens of each. Cut stumps were visible here and there, and while none were intact enough to do a full ring count, the density of the rings that could be seen bore testament to the fact that there are many acres of what would have to be regarded as old-growth here in which not a single tree exceeds 30 feet in height. Some of the older-looking trees were living in heavily reduced strip-bark states around a core of deeply weathered deadwood. It's a beautiful and intriguing environment, and yet another opportunity to regret the pacing of the trip, but the future is at least wide open.

Also fascinating was a conversation I had with an employee of the campsite's office/restaurant/giftshop. He related taking a hike up one of the drainages into the foothills of the Sangre de Cristos and encountering a Ponderosa Pine of impressive girth. He'd recently relocated from Wisconsin and referred to hiking in stands of old-growth white and red pine in that region of the great lakes and asserted that this ponderosa was at least as impressive as the stately specimens he'd encountered there, so it sounds as if there may be some girthy, ancient old pines hiding up in those hills. I recommended the San Juans to him as another good tree region, though I couldn't remember the name of Hermosa Creek off the top of my head, to my regret.

The dunes themselves were very impressive. It was a very busy day and crowds of visitors were treating the Medano creek (with a very low flow) as a temporary beach, setting up lawn chairs and building sandcastles on the sandbars in the middle. There were a couple riffles that managed a few inches of depth where I did witness miniature occurrences of the much-discussed flow "surges." I'll definitely be back to explore more of the natural history of the dunes and the surrounding area.

Later in the trip we also visited Rocky Mountain National Park and took a hike up a trail from the Bear Lake trailhead that continued to three more lakes, the final one (Emerald Lake) situated in a high, rocky bowl and feeding directly from small glaciers just above. There were many gnarled, old-looking trees to be met on this hike. One in particular was situated right on the edge of a cliff above the trail (I was chasing bog orchids up a streambed when I found it) and fascinated me with its twisted form. It must be a pretty old tree, and I'd estimate its hollow trunk at about three feet in diameter. I suspect this is pinion pine?

My appetite has certainly been whetted for more in-depth exploration of these western ecosystems, and the brevity of each encounter is balanced by a sureness that I'll be back. Summer of 2017 I should be taking a road trip through the area with someone highly appreciative of slowing down and delving into the biology and aesthetics of a given environment, and this brief taste has definitely put some places on the map of intended destinations. I hope you all enjoy the pictures.
by Erik Danielsen
Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:33 pm
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length vs height

Not always the same thing. For example, on a leaning tree the height (its vertical axis) will be different from its length. The formulas for determining volume and AF point should be based on length and not height. Also, I don't think determining mid-slope (where the seed presumably drops) is relevant when determining the vertical height of the tree above ground level. The two relevant reference points, in my humble opinion, is the top of the vertical axis of the tree and the base at the highest ground level (up-slope) position. That said determining mid-slope (where the seed drops) is very relevant when determining the biological length/volume/pts of the tree. At least that's how I look at it.
by sradivoy
Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:08 pm
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Tree Fruit


Here is some fruit (native and non-native) I've encountered over the last couple weeks around Cincinnati. We've had a good amount of rain this summer, so everything seems especially vibrant this year.

I played around with the placement of the text as I went along, and I settled on placing the scientific name and common name at the top. I also tried using a quarter a few times for scale, but that ended up being too hard to position while trying to get a good photo.

For anyone that may happen to find this page by browsing the internet, please know that the subject of " Tree Fruit" doesn't imply that it's edible.

kentucky coffeetree.jpg

ohio buckeye.jpg

cucumber tree.jpg



black walnut.jpg

common hackberry.jpg

yellow buckeye.jpg

american sycamore.jpg



american hornbeam.jpg



bradford pear.jpg

by Matt Markworth
Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:57 pm
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CGI forest scene

Here's a forest scene I made using Vue by e-onsoftware and plant generators from onyx software:


I used it as the basis for a cover image for a fantasy novel I wrote. It's an interesting blend of your usual fantasy action with a pretty heavy philosophical thread woven through it. I thought it would be interesting to simultaneously yank the pigtails of people on both sides of the cultural/religious divide in this country. So if you have some time on your hands to have your head screwed with, give it a whirl (Bob, Joe, & Don this means you):

It was the end of an era. Out of the ruins of a broken empire, a semblance of peaceful normalcy has blossomed across the breadth of the kingdom, reaching even to the edges of the wilderness. To one such village, a young Shevarine disciple, a follower of the Way of Discipline, arrives on her Sojourn of Service. It is her first real foray outside the abbey in which she was raised. Despite the villagers’ discouraging reception, she sets aside her disdain for the simplicity of their lives and ministers to them with patient endurance. Her Sojourn stretches from one year into two -- then her communication with home falls silent.

And then from the silence, a grey robed outlander comes for her. Fleeing for her life into the wilderness, she is forced to place herself in the hands of an outcast elf with an unsettlingly nebulous past. Together, they forge their way back across the kingdom, in an effort to reach sanctuary among the Dwarves. While the outcast is forced to confront the haunted past he has tried so hard to outrun, the Sojourn begins in earnest for the young disciple, as she is forced to question all the unspoken truths she was born into as a follower of a now forgotten god.

by Rand
Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:04 pm
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Re: Fascinating article on the redwoods of old...

Don wrote:By the way, while it's too late for viewing now, come next May-August, go to for a live video camera coverage (4 of them!) of brown bears at Brooks Falls. Absolutely fascinating to see brown bear behavior close up and personal, 24/7...

That link is
by pattyjenkins1
Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:57 am
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Northern Arizona, 2015

NTS: In early June of 2015 I found time to measure some trees on five different sites scattered around northern Arizona.

Oak Creek Canyon - Coconino National Forest 4800-5400' elevation
This Canyon has AZ highway 89A running between Flagstaff and Sedona sharing the riparian right of way. Trees measured were mostly creek side on National Forest Land between the switchbacks and the Midgely Bridge north of Sedona
I spent a week camping at Forest Service camp grounds In the canyon. It rained 5 days out of the six I was there. It was an early onset of the monsoonal rains that usually start about the first week of July. I had measured trees during a visit to this area in 2012. The listing below is only for measurements that exceeded the 2012 listing for this site.
Ponderosa Pine ( Pinus ponderosa ) 12.5' x 150.4' (height)
Lombardy Poplar ( Populus nigra ) 6.4' x 111.5' (height)
Arizona Alder ( Alnus oblonifolia ) 9.5' x 85.0', ## x 87.5 (circumference and height)
Arizona Cypress ( Hespercyparis arizonica ) # x 71.4', 6.0' x 43.4' (circumference and height)
Rocky Mountain Juniper ( Juniperus scopulorum ) 3.3' x 56.2' (height)

The 150.4' tall Ponderosa Pine listed above had some residents in its upper reaches.

The base of the highest Great Blue Heron was at 138.6'. The highest I ever measured along the Ohio River in West Virginia and Ohio has been 102'

West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon - Coconino National Forest 5400' Elevation

This a poplar hiking trail and on weekends and holidays one must arrive before the parking lot fills and access is shut off. It will cost you eight dollars and geezer passes are not accepted. I walked two miles up this narrow canyon and measured trees along the way. I tried to enter this area last year but it was shut down because of an active fire. The burn basically got everything except the canyon floor, some lower side slopes and a few isolated trees. I was expecting some good heights in this canyon but did not find anything exceptional. The largest trees measured are listed below:

Ponderosa pine ( Pinus ponderosa ) 12.2' x 149.4'
Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir ( Psuedotsuga menziesii var. glauca ) 12.5 x # top out, 7.3 x 123.8'
White Fir ( Abies concolor )6.9' x 98.7'
Arizona Sycamore ( Platanus wrightii ) 5.5 x 88.5'
Arizona Alder ( Alnus oblonifolia ) 5.4' x 71.2'
Arizona Walnut ( Juglans major ) 3.9' x 67.1'
Big Leaf Maple ( Acer grandentatum) 1.4' x 20.2'

North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park. 8800' Elevation
While number three son took a hike down to the spring on the North Kaibab Trail I measured trees on the west side of highway 67 on a little spur ridge and slope about a quarter mile off of the road. Elevation 8800'.
The largest trees are listed below:
Ponderosa Pine ( Pinus ponderosa ) 10.1' x 113.7', 11.0' x 88.1'
Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir ( Psuedotsuga menziesii var. glauca ) 7.1' x 99.1'
Engelmann Spruce ( Picea engelmannii[ ) 6.3' x 94.8'
Quaking Aspen ( Populus tremuloides ) 4.7' x 79.3'

Aspen Corner - Coconino National Forest. 8800' elevation
This site is north of Flagstaff on the road going to the Snow Bowl Ski facility on the west side of Mount Agassisiz. Elevation 8800'. The parking area is next to a nice stand of Quaking Aspens where I had measured some trees in 2012. Access to several trails radiate from here and my goal was to bushwack over a small ridge between two of them. The largest trees measured are listed below.
Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir ( Psuedotsuga menziesii var. glauca ) 16.9' x 113.1'
Southwestern White Pine ( Pinus strobiformis ) 11.5' x 83.3', 10.6' x 108.7'
Quaking Aspen ( Populus tremuloides ) 5.8' x 99.8'
White Fir ( Abies concolor )5.2' x 89.9'
Engelmann Spruce ( Picea engelmannii[ ) 7.2' x 78.9'
Southwestern White Pine 10.6' x 108.7"

Page Springs 3600' Elevation
This is a site of a fish hatchery. The springs here supply the cold, clear water necessary for raising trout. The site also has a nature trail circling the ponds.
Located along Oak Creek below Sedona and about 10 miles above the confluence of Oak Creek and the Verde River.
The largest trees measured included:
Fremont Cottonwood ( Populus fremonti ) 14.5' x 85.7', 12.0' x 87.4'
Arizona Sycamore ( Platanus wrightii ) 9.0' x 68.3'
Peachleaf Willow ( Salix amygdloides ) 8.6' x 43.4'
Velvet Mesquite ( Prosopis velutina 4.3' x 31.5'
I also measured a multi stem cottonwood at 29.7' cumference and since it had a huge offset of its highest twig from the trunk I intended to do a tape and clinometer height measurement to illustrate the tangent method short comings. However, i got invited to tour some of their covered races and enjoyed the lack of sun and cooler temperatures so much that it was soon forgotten.

All trees measured have been entered in the Trees Database site.

Peachleaf Willow
Bark pattern of the Peachleaf Willow
by tsharp
Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:34 am
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Noxubee NWR Nov 2015 Part 1

NTS- On my annual Hunting trip to NNWR I first went to Enis Road west of Hwy 25 in Oktibbeha County to measure a large Loblolly that some friends had told be about. The big Pine is approx. 25 yards off the road at about one mile on the left. When I saw it I was like Wow! Loblolly Pine 1.jpg The Loblolly measured a whopping 13’ 2” Circumference with a Height of 115.5’ and Crown Spread of 69’ x 64.5’. Loblolly Pine 1a.jpg This is the largest know Pine in this region. The Ms Champion is listed at 15’ 11” in nearby Noxubee County but so far I have been unable to locate it or talk to anyone who knows where it is. The next day I went back to Douglas Bluff to look for a big Loblolly that I couldn’t locate last year. After looking for a short period I finally located a couple of large ones. The first one was 10’ 6” and the second 11’ the heights were around 100’ so I didn’t bother recording them. Next it was on to the group of Pines that I found there last year. While on the way I measured a nice Cypress to CBH- 17’ 10” at 108’ tall. Cypress this size are exceptional in this area and I have only see a few in this area. I ran into some more Pines just south and west of my final destination. They were tall so I recored them at CBH-11’, Height-123’, CBH-9’ 4”, Height-135’ the final tree was 7’ 8” and 132’. Loblolly Pine 2.jpg I finally reached the tall Pines that I found last year and remeaured 3. Lets take a look at these. Loblollys at Oktoc Creek.jpg The first was 138’ in height and 9’ 1” CBH, second 142.5’ x 8’ 6” and the last to 144’ x 8’ 6”. These are the tallest known Loblollies in the Douglas Bluff area. To be continued-
by Larry Tucei
Tue Dec 01, 2015 5:47 pm
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The Beauty of Big Basin

I've been visiting this park almost every week now. Exploring and doing a lot of experimenting with my camera. Here are a few photos that I hope can sum up the experience that is Big Basin. Many people skip over this park or dismiss it because in general the trees are not anywhere near as large as the northern parks and the groundcover here takes away from the "cathedral" like experience. In reality, anything you can find in the north you can find here, just in very small pockets. I measured a Douglas Fir at 31' CBH today and over 230' tall. Probably the largest in the park. There are even redwoods over 50ft CBH as well.
by John Harvey
Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:37 am
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Ms Tall Tree Listing

NTS- I just completed updating the Ms Tall Tree Listing. We are starting to get some good Data and Tree heights to 150'.
by Larry Tucei
Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:40 pm
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