### Tallest three eastern sites compared

Posted:

**Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:03 pm**NTS,

I know I have other things to do but in the course of entering new data I had some thoughts about Rucker indices and the Tree Dimension Index (TDI) system. These ideas are not new but the numbers below are up-to-date so we have some real numbers to look at. Jess Riddle also proposed looking at the number of record trees per site which I have also done. This is inherently reflected in the TDI scale but just raw numbers tell a clear story.

Most of my work with NTS has coincidentally been in the super-tree sites of Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM- NC&TN), Congaree National Park (CONG-SC), and Savage Gulf State Park (SVGF-TN). Thus, I was interested in looking at the current Rucker 10 and Rucker 5 indices as well as TDI height indices for all three sites.

I know, some will instantly respond with the disparity of the sizes of the parks in question. GRSM is vastly larger than SVGF with CONG similar to SVGF. This is not reflected in the numbers below but there are still vastly smaller areas of GRSM that totally smoke the entire park RI for both CONG and SVGF. This can be explored in more detail later.

Also, the numbers used below are maximum current and historical heights as obtained by laser only. The Boogerman Pine's original tape-drag is not included and some trees in both GRSM and CONG are now dead. These are compared to max known to NTS. A value of 1.00 in the TDI scale means it is the tallest specimen known of the species.

With this in mind here are the current Rucker Index and TDI series for all three parks. There is a comparison of the top 10 and top 5 trees in each park, # height records (HTR) in the top 10 and 5, and concludes with a percentage of the eastern max Rucker 10 index which is 171.45. Taking it out to the R20 would be interesting; GRSM is still 158.9!

Comparison of top three tall eastern tree sites

R10 R5 TDI10 TDI5 HTR 10 HTR 5 Percent of east R10

GRSM 169.42 178.54 0.988 1.00 9 5 98.82%

SVGF 154.88 161.14 0.953 0.953 2 2 90.34%

CONG 151.46 160.36 0.980 0.989 8 4 88.34%

For what it is worth, here is something to chew on. I would think that the TDI10 may be a good way to compare widely different sites in a more equatable way. It eliminates the height variance over latitude and if compared using regional maxima this wouold further reveal the superlative sites relative to others in completely different geographic regions. Mohawk Trail would likely compare on par with the Smokies.

Is there a way we can scale these ratios into a superlative index?

Will

I know I have other things to do but in the course of entering new data I had some thoughts about Rucker indices and the Tree Dimension Index (TDI) system. These ideas are not new but the numbers below are up-to-date so we have some real numbers to look at. Jess Riddle also proposed looking at the number of record trees per site which I have also done. This is inherently reflected in the TDI scale but just raw numbers tell a clear story.

Most of my work with NTS has coincidentally been in the super-tree sites of Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM- NC&TN), Congaree National Park (CONG-SC), and Savage Gulf State Park (SVGF-TN). Thus, I was interested in looking at the current Rucker 10 and Rucker 5 indices as well as TDI height indices for all three sites.

I know, some will instantly respond with the disparity of the sizes of the parks in question. GRSM is vastly larger than SVGF with CONG similar to SVGF. This is not reflected in the numbers below but there are still vastly smaller areas of GRSM that totally smoke the entire park RI for both CONG and SVGF. This can be explored in more detail later.

Also, the numbers used below are maximum current and historical heights as obtained by laser only. The Boogerman Pine's original tape-drag is not included and some trees in both GRSM and CONG are now dead. These are compared to max known to NTS. A value of 1.00 in the TDI scale means it is the tallest specimen known of the species.

With this in mind here are the current Rucker Index and TDI series for all three parks. There is a comparison of the top 10 and top 5 trees in each park, # height records (HTR) in the top 10 and 5, and concludes with a percentage of the eastern max Rucker 10 index which is 171.45. Taking it out to the R20 would be interesting; GRSM is still 158.9!

Comparison of top three tall eastern tree sites

R10 R5 TDI10 TDI5 HTR 10 HTR 5 Percent of east R10

GRSM 169.42 178.54 0.988 1.00 9 5 98.82%

SVGF 154.88 161.14 0.953 0.953 2 2 90.34%

CONG 151.46 160.36 0.980 0.989 8 4 88.34%

For what it is worth, here is something to chew on. I would think that the TDI10 may be a good way to compare widely different sites in a more equatable way. It eliminates the height variance over latitude and if compared using regional maxima this wouold further reveal the superlative sites relative to others in completely different geographic regions. Mohawk Trail would likely compare on par with the Smokies.

Is there a way we can scale these ratios into a superlative index?

Will