"Live Meat" vs. "Dead Meat" RE Hunting Trees

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#1)  "Live Meat" vs. "Dead Meat" RE Hunting Trees

Postby mdvaden » Fri Aug 07, 2015 7:29 pm

( or .. we could say "preserved meat" ... )

Once before, I quoted Robert Van Pelt, but here's his written comment one more time from my copy of Forest Giants of the Pacific Coast.

"Mario, A great detective of redwoods -  you have been everywhere, but one thing remains - to discover a champion for yourself" ... RVP


It took a while for the idea to sink in that that being a tree detective is not the same as being a tree "hunter".

Every week, I  read messages from folks who detect  known past discovery on the west Coast, Usually northern California. Probably 2 per week. This detective work is what just recently came to mind as the "dead meat" trees. Somebody else has already hunted, and others feed  ... for aesthetics, enjoyment, photographic. And what about "live meat"?

While a bunch of other people are mainly occupied with detective work, streaming announcements weekly about finding known discoveries, John Montegue of Humboldt, for example,  has been an inspiration. I bet he found enough new large volume trees and diameter records the past 16 months to average one every few weeks.

That's tree "hunting" and  putting "live meat" on the table. John has done plenty of the detective work too. But I'm glad he has the enthusiasm and drive to go out in the forest to find new things.  Zane Moore is very similar, especially with albino and other redwoods, and some hardwoods.

The past couple years, tree "detective" has been getting  easier on the west coast as various people loosely scatter bread crumbs among their blog posts and  image  captions. On the other hand, tree "hunting" still remains very challenging. Think about it ..

In a year, dozens or hundreds of people email, blog or forum post about finding a past discovery, but most all combined report virtually no new record or find. On the other hand, one or two other guys find several new trees ... plural ...

This is not meant to diminish the enthusiasm  to find existing discoveries. Special trees are cool, and its nice that people appreciate them. But I hoped to emphasize this evening, that tree detective and tree hunter seem very different.

The "live meat" found by a few like Michael Taylor, Robert Van Pelt, Chris Atkins and Steve Sillett (etc.,) are also good examples of what it takes to be a "tree hunter"
M. D. Vaden of Oregon = http://www.mdvaden.com

200 Pages - Coast Redwoods - http://www.mdvaden.com/grove_of_titans.shtml

Portraits & Weddings - http://www.vadenphotography.com

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#2)  Re: "Live Meat" vs. "Dead Meat" RE Hunting Trees

Postby John Harvey » Fri Aug 07, 2015 9:13 pm

Its all about proximity to me and finding everything that's already known first. I guess one question I would have is why would anyone want to find a bunch of new "Big Trees" until they have seen all the known ones...especially if they are coming from thousands of miles away or once a year or so. Yourself, John Montague, Zane and so on have already seen everything known so you have more motivation to search for new trees.
   I know in my case I at least tape wrap (sometimes get a height measurement) on every tree I see that I believe has over a 45ft CBH with some quick tapering and multi trunk examples in the northern most parks excluded. Its also hard to know what a new discovery is at times. I have hundreds of large redwoods documented that may or may not have been "discovered" or "photographed" before. Could a couple of them crack the top 40 in size? Maybe. Could I have actually found a large one that already has a name but no clues or photos like The Elk Tree, Flaking Bark Giant, Broccoli Tree and so on? Probably. I am getting to the point where I'm running out of already discovered trees and unsure what is a new discovery anymore.
    Proximity and time are the two biggest factors in getting new giants. To push into areas like Jordan Creek and Clarks Creek In Jed Smith or the remote pockets of Redwood National Park takes time only a local would have or someone with a lot of money to make frequent trips. Ill be honest, If I lived In Eureka or Crescent City I would have put together a three man team long ago and finished out many of those areas...much like John M is doing now.

I guess in short, how many have had the time, proximity and done the detective work necessary to see enough of the known greats to be motivated enough to find the new ones?
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"If you look closely at a tree you'll notice it's knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully." - Matt Fox
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#3)  Re: "Live Meat" vs. "Dead Meat" RE Hunting Trees

Postby mdvaden » Fri Aug 07, 2015 9:27 pm

JohnnyDJersey wrote:Its all about proximity to me and finding everything that's already known first. I guess one question I would have is why would anyone want to find a bunch of new "Big Trees" until they have seen all the known ones...especially if they are coming from thousands of miles away or once a year or so. Yourself, John Montague, Zane and so on have already seen everything known so you have more motivation to search for new trees.


The answer to your question is because certain people would want to find new big trees.

Another question's answer would be that some people just want to find known trees.

Actually, I have not seen everything known.

I got emails from people, for example, asking about the Brown Creek Giant, when I had not even looked for it. I became interested in tree hunting new discoveries years before I eventually saw the Brown Creek redwood. In fact, Taylor or Atkins showed it to me. Likewise with some other trees. Take Paradox for example. It may be months or years before I go to to see it, and I've got the GPS on virtually every tallest coast redwood. Hundreds of coordinates. I think most folks  would probably lean toward seeing something like Paradox ... me on the other hand ... I'd probably go and see the Randy Stoltman Tree

If was fairly quick that new discovery became as interesting, if not more so, than finding what's already known.

Part of it may be loving the adventure of exploring into the unknowns of the forest and seeing what's off the grid. My favorite redwood adventures are the bushwhacking. Even if I find nothing record-breaking. But every bushwhack seems to reveal some feature or shape that few human eyes have seen.
M. D. Vaden of Oregon = http://www.mdvaden.com

200 Pages - Coast Redwoods - http://www.mdvaden.com/grove_of_titans.shtml

Portraits & Weddings - http://www.vadenphotography.com
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#4)  Re: "Live Meat" vs. "Dead Meat" RE Hunting Trees

Postby John Harvey » Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:21 pm

I can understand this. Certain things limit us at times. For instance my work schedule and having three small kids keep me closer to trails and out of the deep woods most of the time. Me and Yinghai were talking about this the other day.
I know that before I discovered several of the largest trees in NJ for instance I went and saw most of the state champs. maybe its just the way I operate, I don't know.
I guess in every redwood titan seeker or "detective" there is a 7 year younger Mario Vaden or a 3 year younger John Harvey who still wants to gobble up all the sights and check the names off a list. I will agree it certainly is a lot easier to follow behind and see what others have put harder work into discovering.
John D Harvey (JohnnyDJersey)

East Coast and West Coast Big Tree Hunter

"If you look closely at a tree you'll notice it's knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully." - Matt Fox
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#5)  Re: "Live Meat" vs. "Dead Meat" RE Hunting Trees

Postby mdvaden » Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:02 am

Lately I've got into the mindset where just exploring the unknown is as interesting as looking for big trees.

I can go into a new valley ... and most are awesome ... if there is nothing super tall or huge, its an incredible adventure. And, if by chance there is something exceptional, it will be spotted.

But I'm almost making a transition to exploring for noteworthy photographic specimens and areas the next couple of years .. and marking the GPS coordinates for them so I can return under different conditions.

Sort of like champion scenery among the redwoods.

Like this "bear" tree that I want to do with a better camera someday.
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M. D. Vaden of Oregon = http://www.mdvaden.com

200 Pages - Coast Redwoods - http://www.mdvaden.com/grove_of_titans.shtml

Portraits & Weddings - http://www.vadenphotography.com

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