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Introduction

Hello,
I am new to the board and thought I would introduce myself. I have been learning the ways of tree measuring over the past year, and I think this is a great forum for people like us.

My interest in tree measuring came as a result of wanting to find Hyperion. In my quest for the world's tallest tree, it became apparent that I needed to know how to measure a tree in order to find it. I located Hyperion in July, and over the course of the months I spent looking for it, I fell in love with looking for tall trees. I am now on a quest to find every tree over 350'. There are currently 220 confirmed redwoods over 350'. In the past year, I have located 80 of them. I am also in the process of verifying several possible new additions to the list. I work with laser tech rangefinders. I scout with a handheld tru pulse, and if I find something worth confirming or measuring properly, I return with my tripods, prisms, and my impulse.

I've included a picture of a recent find. This is UT-35. The tree was identified by LIDAR, but had never been located on the ground. Well, I found it on a recent outing in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. My handheld readings suggest this tree should top 350'. I will return soon with my tripods and confirm. It is a remarkable tree!
by John Montague
Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:32 pm
 
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New 108.5 meter redwood in HRSP

I recently discovered a new tall redwood in HRSP, which I have named "Eclipse". I performed a tripod survey with an Impulse 200LR and prism pole. The survey revealed this tree to be 355.98 feet or 108.5 meters. The tree is located in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and it was mysteriously absent from LIDAR's hit list. Note the attached picture. Eclipse has the unique feature of a neighboring trunk that leans into Eclipse and then wraps itself around the upper trunk.

Michael Taylor is credited as co-discoverer of this tree. While he was not present for locating and measuring the tree, it was Michael's LIDAR research that directed me to this particular patch of forest in HRSP.

Eclipse 4.jpg
by John Montague
Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:10 pm
 
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Update on UT-35 measurement

Earlier this year, I reported on my initial casual measurements of UT-35. This is a redwood on LIDAR's hit list that has never been formally measured. I recently returned to the tree and performed a formal measurement with an Impulse 200LR, tripods, and prism poles.

UT-35 checks in at 352.1 feet or 107.3 meters.

Its new name is "Totem". Totem is located in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
by John Montague
Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:51 pm
 
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New dbh champ for SESE

On May 15, 2014, Joseph Hall and I discovered a giant single-stem redwood while bushwhacking through a remote area in Northern California. Our preliminary measurements suggested this SESE's diameter was larger than Lost Monarch.

For independent verification, I returned to the tree with Zane Moore and Luke Adams. The difference between upslope ground level and downslope ground level was 16', so we painstakingly performed an even tape wrap at upper ground level. The result was 23.95'. This measurement was treated as 8' above average ground level, and Zane then plugged in Bob Van Pelt's functional dbh equation. This yielded a functional dbh of 27.2'.

In our opinion 27.2' is a conservative number, because the functional dbh equation accounts for an average SESE taper, and the taper between 4.5' and 8' on this tree is well above average.

We can say with confidence that it is a new dbh champ for redwoods.

Joseph and I have named the tree "Crocodile".
by John Montague
Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:48 pm
 
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Re: New dbh champ for SESE

I returned to Crocodile and took some more measurements.

Initial height estimate: 181.4'
Initial volume estimate: 19.28k

OK, so that's not much to write home about, but this is definitely noteworthy...

Ground tape wrap: 107.8' circumference (34.3' diameter)!

Short and stout.
by John Montague
Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:41 pm
 
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Re: Gigantic Ponderosa Discovered In Mokelumne Wilderness

As notable as Mokelumne Giant is for its volume and dbh, it is equally notable for its remoteness. This was one of the most remote notable trees I've ever encountered. If anyone is ever tempted to find it, please keep in mind:

A) Day hiking would be reserved for a super-athlete accustomed to ironman triathlons. Anyone else would need to pack in overnight supplies. You might get it in your head that you can hike 22 miles in one day, but unless you are an ultra-endurance athlete, these particular miles aren't doable in one day. Michael and I took 2 days, and even that was a handful. If you have 3 or even 4 days, you could really take your time and bask in the abundance of beautiful swimming holes along the way.

B) Getting there isn't easy, but it's 10 times easier than getting back.

C) Don't go alone. An injury in such a remote area would put you in a very bad situation. If someone in your party did encounter an injury, there is strangely a phone signal up on the boulders, and there are places up there for helicopters to land. Also, we saw regular evidence of mountain lions in the area. When you're camping in a mountain lion's domain, there is strength in numbers. Bears are in there too, so you'd want to take the standard precautions for bears. We were lucky enough not to see any rattlesnakes on our trek, but portions of the hike require you to navigate through tight areas that are ideal habitats for rattlesnakes. Michael is outstanding at sniffing out old trails, which meant he led the way through many of the snakiest sections. Thank you, Michael!

I highly recommend visiting Mokelumne Giant, not just for the tree itself, but also for the magnificent vistas and interesting history that dots the path to and from the tree.
by John Montague
Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:03 am
 
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Re: New dbh champ for SESE

Joe,

I've had the tree verified, and I've shared pictures and coordinates with several authorities in the tree community. There are a variety of reasons why I'm not sharing photos with the public.

1. The tree is old.
2. The tree is on a steep slope.
3. This tree cannot afford regular visits.
4. I personally like looking for trees I've never seen in pictures. It enriches the imagination, and makes for a more magical experience. For me, something is lost when I find a tree I've already seen in pictures. When a tree reveals itself to me for the first time in a remote forest, the sense of awe and wonder that accompanies that experience is unmatched by recognizing a tree from a photo.

Just my two cents.
by John Montague
Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:36 pm
 
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Re: New dbh champ for SESE

Johnny,

Godwood Creek Giant is a much more substantial tree, in terms of volume and height. For that reason, I'd put it in a different category than these two trees.
by John Montague
Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:42 pm
 
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new dbh champ for SESE (and other records)

On May 8th, I found a redwood with a monster base in Redwood National and State Parks. My initial numbers suggested a new champion for both SESE dbh and ground perimeter.

On May 20th, I returned to the tree with Zane and Steve Moore for verification and further study. Here are the numbers:

Dbh: 29.2' (8.9m) functional dbh
This bests the previous record by 1.8', making that mythical 30' redwood seem like a real possibility!

ground perimeter: 116' (35.36m)
Another record for SESE, and it even tops Boole by 3'!

ground axis: 43.3' (13.2m)
To my knowledge, this is the longest single stem axis of any tree on Earth.

official ground footprint: 864 sq feet. (80.3 sq m)
Record for SESE

Initial volume estimate based on lower tape wraps and relescope readings from a single angle: 27,959K
Basically, the main trunk is in the ballpark of 28K, a much higher number than I initially expected. It's not particularly tall or thick on the upper trunk.

Initial height estimate: 254' (77.4m)

There is also reason to believe this tree is a candidate for oldest SESE. Further study would be required.

As some of you know, I enjoy assigning names to notable trees. This tree goes by the name of "Jupiter".

Special thanks to Zane and Steve Moore for their help, and for an awesome day in the forest!

I'll keep everyone posted, as Jupiter is studied further.
by John Montague
Tue May 26, 2015 6:10 pm
 
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by John Montague
Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:19 pm
 
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