The tallest tree of Europe?

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#21)  Re: The tallest tree of Europe?

Postby bbeduhn » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:30 pm

Jeroen,
That is one thorough list!  It's very interesting to see how tall exotics can get in other countries.  The heights attained in some arboretums are quite impressive.  The eucalypts in Spain and Portugal are so much taller than native trees.  Giant sequoias top coast redwoods.  I've always thought of Scotland as being relatively barren of trees and it has two species over 60m, beaten only by eucalypts.  

Do you have any trusted measurements on Metasequoias?
Brian
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#22)  Re: The tallest tree of Europe?

Postby Jeroen Philippona » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:53 pm

Brian,

Yes, I forgot to put Metasequoia at the list, I will do that soon. We have lasermeasured specimen of 33.2 m in Spain and 32.8 m in the Netherlands. In Germany there are a few trees reported up to 37 m, but I am not sure if they were measured accurate.

Its not strange that giant sequoias top coast redwoods: they are better adapted to areas with cold winters. The one coast redwood of 54 m in England is strange tall, the second is only 49 m. In Germany, with colder winters, the tallest coast redwood is only 38 m, tallest giant sequoia in that country is 53.6 m.
Also coast redwoods for optimal growth need the oceanic mist of the Californian coast zone.

Scotland has barren areas, but also many sheltered valleys with beautiful estates with the tallest conifers of Western Europe. This because of the mild, oceanic winters and the high rainfall, comparable to the Pacific North West.

I now updated the excel file and included two laser records for Metasequoia as well as a new Hazel (Corylus avelana) record. See post nr. 20.  

Jeroen

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#23)  Re: The tallest tree of Europe?

Postby KoutaR » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:36 am

Jeroen Philippona wrote:Also coast redwoods for optimal growth need the oceanic mist of the Californian coast zone.


I am not sure about this. I think coast redwood needs summer fog ONLY if the local climate has low summer precipitation like in California. For example, the growth rates of the famous redwood forest in Rotorua, NZ, are comparable with the best Californian redwood forests, and I don't think it is an actual fog climate as there is no cold ocean current and the forest is also over 40 km inland. But there is plentiful precipitation over the year, 125 mm in the driest month, compared to 4 mm in the driest moths in Eureka, California.

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#24)  Re: The tallest tree of Europe?

Postby Jeroen Philippona » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:28 am

The idea about fog being necessary for optimal height growth was described by Alan Mitchel in his book 'Alan Mitchell's trees of Britain' (1995, p. 140). Also he writes there is normally no frost in the natural area and summer temperaures are much higher than in the UK. The reason for the better growth in Rotorua, NZ compared to the UK will probably be the higher summer temperatures and the absence of frost.
He writes in the UK redwoods grow best in sheltered, damp sites with high watertable, especially in the humidity and shelter of tall surrounding trees in deep, wooded combs or at the base of a wet hillside.
When exposed to cold or warm, dry winds like in the east of England the tops flatten. In Scotland the summers seem to be to cool for optimal growh.

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#25)  Re: The tallest tree of Europe?

Postby KoutaR » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:12 pm

Jeroen,

I agree that colder climate is a reason for the inferior growth rate of redwood in the UK. But as I said, I doubt the fog explanation. What would be the mechanism making fog so important? Fog is actually only a type of precipitation. Fog condenses on the leaves and drips down as liquid water. In addition, redwood can absorb a limited amount of water directly through leaves. The fog drip is very important in Californian summer as there is almost no rain, but why would fog be needed if there is plentiful summer rainfall like in western Scotland for example.

The claim, that fog is crucially important for redwood in all the climates, can be read from some sources, and it is possible that fog has an influence by reducing the atmospheric water stress, but I think the Rotorua example disproves it. Instead, I feel that it is rather a "romantic" idea: the tallest tree of the world needs the unique fog of its homeland and does not do well without.

But I am not a redwood specialist.

Kouta

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#26)  Re: The tallest tree of Europe?

Postby fooman » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:32 pm

All,

Just some more info with regards to the forest at Whakarewarewa (including the memorial redwood grove):

- Rotorua does get frosts, down to -7 °C.  Records show 53.5 days of ground frost on average.  Rotorua is one of the few inland cities in NZ, and is actually at a little bit of an altitude (~300 m asl).  This does give it hotter summers and colder winters than cities of comparable latitude near the coast, or at lower elevations.
- It is approxiately 44 km to the nearest coast (NE of Rotorua), approximately 130 km from the west coast (the prevailing wind direction in NZ).  The prevailing wind direction in Rotorua appears to be W to SW
- The forest is approximately 3 km south of Lake Rotorua (80 km2)
- The forest is located on a north (sun) facing slope of approximately 200 m local relief.  The grove is located at the foot of this hill.
- There is considerable volcanic activity in the area (Lake Rotorua is a flooded caldera, approximately 250 000 years old), with a few feet of ash-rich soils from large eruptions (most recently Mt Tawawera in 1886)
- And most notably, the grove is 1.3 km east of the Whakarewarewa geothmermal area, which contains NZ's most productive remaining geyser field.  Drift from the geothermal sourced clouds is quite common, and has been noted as a potential source of "foggy" conditions for the trees.

I've been wandering through the grove on a number of occaisions, most recently during a very short visit during my families summer holidays -  early one morning I managed to limp around the grove track with an injured foot, Nikon 550 in hand, to see what I could find - I was after a 67.1 m tree reported by Steve Sillett.  Getting heights of trees was problematic in most of the grove: secondary growth of ~30 to 40 m obsured the tops of the trees planted in 1901.  There is a small swamp/spring which looked and smelt a bit geothermal.  Tops of trees were visible and the surrounding trees were level with the boardwalk briding the swamp. On one edge of this opening, there were a number of trees exceeding 60 m, including one of 68.7 m (225 ft), 202 cm dbh.  I have since learned from the administrator of the NZ Notable Trees Trust that Bob van Pelt measured 4 or so trees around 68 m during a visit in 200(9?).  He also measured Douglas fir at around 55 m ( a large stand to the NE of the redwood grove), and a number of specimen trees planted at the nearby foresty research institute (Scion), inluding a Torrey pine at 43 m tall.

Now, it could be said that the local conditions at Rotorua are great for redwoods, and conifers in general.  Having said that, during the same trip I managed to run the 550 over a small planting (~1 ha) of redwoods at a town called Te Kuiti, 100 km west of Rotorua.  I had always wondered about the height of these Te Kuiti trees. I found that the ones at the edge of the grove were 50 to 55 m tall.  I managed to measure one at ~ 62 m a few metres in from the edge.  I have no history for the Te Kuiti grove, and could make no comment, other than a quick look inside, from the roadside showed that the stand was actively managed (trees were numbered and cbh levels were marked) and were not as large as the Rotorua trees, so may have been planted some time after the Rotorua trees (I suspect ~ 1920's as a lot of introduced conifer species were planted around that time in the central North Island).

Cheers,
Matt

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#27)  Re: The tallest tree of Europe?

Postby KoutaR » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:05 pm

Thanks, Matt! The possibility of geothermal fog didn't come to my mind. Maybe I was wrong and fog is after all important for redwood's optimal growth.

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#28)  Re: The tallest tree of Europe?

Postby KoutaR » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:47 am

mdavie wrote:That Abies nordmanianna was measured by Vladimir Dinets; he was kind enough to respond to an email I sent asking how he got his numbers, and he said the height measurement was through shadow triangulation, which would certainly make that a very rough estimate. He said the base was somewhat swollen, but even so: 360cm diameter is pretty huge.


I contacted Dinets and asked about the "78-metre Nordmann fir". He answered the entire area was logged in preparation for the Sochi Olympics. A friend of him was there recently and found only clearcuts.

Too bad! The same nature destruction goes further in Korea. For the 2018 Olympics, an old-growth forest was destructed.

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