Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru
- Posts: 4217
- Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:46 pm
That's the plan. I'm considering getting a rangefinder. Where do you get a tape measure that clings to the tree?
You can look for a Nikon 440 rangefinder on eBay. I bought one for $90 there. You would need a clinometer - either Suunto or Brunton are good. They must measure in degrees (most have two scales) Again they can be found on eBay or purchased new. I purchased a cheap measurng tape in a reel from Lowes - a large retail hardware store - you really don't need a special tape although the hook on the end is useful. Generally we measure the girth in inches directly as it is an actual dimension rather than use a d-tape. you can convert from one to the other simply by multiply or dividing by ∏ For a field book some people use a regular survey book, others get a little cheap notebook for each measuring trip and a few mechanical pencils. If you are going to be using the rangefinder/clinometer combo rather than a choked down Nikon 550 as described elsewhere (the 440 & clinometer is what I use) you will need a calculator with sine functions for use in the field. I would get the cheapest possible one - especially in my case as I have been known to lose things in the woods. The one I am using now cost a dollar at an everything is a dollar store - generally they ca be found anywhere at around $10.
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky
- Posts: 1279
- Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:23 pm
Thanks, Ed. I just purchased a Suunto clinometer and a hardcase calculator, for cheap. I'm looking for a cheap 440, or I might get the 550.
Scratch the Jus' Running sycamore off your list. I drove by yesterday and it just isn't that fine a speciman, and it had been pruned in the past. I believe you're aware of the sycamore at Elk Mtn. Scenic hwy and Beaverdam, on the golf course. It's a nice tall, open grown speciman. The UNCA Botanical Garden has a nice double near the entrance, a very large, tall one by the bridge and a nice, tall open grown in a grassy field. They should all easily break 110', perhaps a bit more with the one by the bridge being of a rather large girth. Also, check out the woods across the street by the research station for some nice, old white oaks and a very interesting white pine. The video store sycamore appears to be about 13'/80'. There's a much taller one with a smaller girth about 30 yards away. You'll see that one first from Charlotte Street.
- Posts: 1576
- Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:47 pm
Ed's advice of buying a standard reel type fiberglass tape at Lowes is a good idea. That would be cheaper than buying from Ben Meadows. I sometimes miss the obvious! Mine does have the end-hook for holding itself to a tree though.
I will check out those trees. I am due a trip over in the Merrimon area to measure the Oak at Grace Episcopal anyway.
- Posts: 1153
- Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:13 pm
The sycamores at the botanical gardens reach up to 130'. I will be installing some heavy dynamic cables in the big one by the bridge in the next few weeks. And yes, the open-grown one at Elk Mtn and Beaverdam is 61" X 135' or so. Did you check out the outstanding Sawara cypress across the creek from the sycamore? Amazing grove.
- Posts: 1279
- Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:23 pm
I thought they might reach that tall but I certainly didn't want to suggest it and be way off. That would mean there are some tall shortleaf and pitch pines along with some quite tall white pines suurounding the open sycamore. The Carolina hemlocks look very healthy. They've got quite a few. I'm glad they've hired you to cable the big sycamore. It's nice to see them be proactive, as they obviously have been with their hemlocks.
I would not have guessed the Beav/Elk Sycamore was that tall. I"ve never even heard of Sawara Cypress. I'm a bit sketchy on exotics.
- Posts: 1217
- Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:25 pm
choked down Nikon 550 as described elsewhere (the 440 & clinometer is what I use) you will need a calculator with sine functions for use in the field. I would get the cheapest possible one - especially in my case as I have been known to lose things in the woods. The one I am using now cost a dollar at an everything is a dollar store - generally they ca be found anywhere at around $10.
I have finally taken the 'choked' 550 on an official measuring trip and subjectively it's clutter penetrating performance is only slightly less than the 440. IMHO this slight deficiency is worthy price to pay for how much faster it measures. The 550 has a mode where you shoot two separate points in sequence and it automatically grinds through the trig and spits out the height difference for you. It's literally at least 5x faster, and at least 10x less annoying.
The only puzzling deficiency is that when shooting two points it doesn't let you scanning multiple points when doing so. The scan is a separate mode. So the clumsy workflow is to scan the crown, find the high point, crank the mode button twice to switch to the two point mode, re-find your high point, and then measure the height. Probably something that will be fixed in later revision, but good luck knowing when that will be.