Measuring Fusions

General discussions of measurement techniques and the results of testing of techniques and equipment.

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To what extent do you agree: I want to adopt this equation for measuring the coast redwood.

Strongly Agree
0
No votes
Agree
5
63%
Neutral
1
13%
Disagree
2
25%
Strongly Disagree
0
No votes
I Don't Care
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 8

#21)  Re: Measuring Fusions

Postby yofoghorn » Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:43 am

[/quote] If I'm reading this right, it seems to say that fusions have a stability advantage. I  disagree. We've seen ancient redwoods blow over, and it reveals the more or less deteriorated underside of the root system. Mathematically, the weight becomes too great for tissue to grow and expand. Trees can exert up to about 170 lbs. per square inch during growth. Old redwoods downward weight eventually over-powers that. Even a single trunk.  So with fused stems, not only is the underside  going to decline, but at some point the two or more trunks can add the disadvantage of poor root development in-between the two trunks. When two trunks are side by side, it really limits root and trunk development in between.  I see them every bit as vulnerable, Maybe more vulnerable.[/quote]

One must consider basal area when discussing stability. Sure, a fusion with more basal area than a single-stem could have more basal area for root rot. However, additional basal area gives a tree more stability and a fusion that is not in a regular circular shape will add basal area compared to trunk volumes. Take any double tree, say Screaming Titans. It has a much larger basal area to volume than Del Norte Titan, for example.

Also, another discussion in regards to roots finding more places to grow. For an elliptical tree form (be it a double or single or whatever), the trunk is most vulnerable to falling in the long plane, not the short plane. It's the equivalent of standing with your feet heel to heel and your toes out at 180 degrees. You aren't going to fall to the side, you're going to fall forward or backward. But here's where it gets interesting. An elliptical tree has extra area for root expansion to those sides of the tree, and significantly higher than a round based tree. A round based tree could easily fall in any direction, and root growth opposite that (under tension of the trunk) does not have the ability to expand as easily as would occur in a fusion or an elliptical trunk. For Screaming Titans again as an example, both trees weights help reduce the tension on the other in the long axis plane and the root spread is way more substantial in the opposite plane that is the most vulnerable.

I know of many trees or fusions that have the elliptical trunk going in the plane of a hillside's slope. Why would this be advantageous? Because obviously trees are going to want to fall over in that plane, so creating a fusion on a hillside nearly forces the tree to have to fall over sideways, not down the hill. And with an elliptical trunk, roots can expand sideways along the hillside very easily with less competition than roots from a round object allowing for not as much overcrowding and a more successful tree form.

To break it down, basically the question is whether a point (a round tree) or a line (an elliptical tree) has better chances of stability and better chances of avoiding overcrowding. A fused trunk has the circumference of a full tree (adding two halves at the end) and an elongated axis (however long the distance is between the two trees), allowing for more root expansion and hence more stability. And an added bonus, the second trunk makes it much less likely to fall in that elongated plane because the weight of the trunk can be an added tensile strength for the two trees.

It doesn't make sense to me how a fusion would be any MORE susceptible to root rot and overcrowding than a single stem. Am I getting the whole picture? Is there something else I'm not understanding?

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#22)  Re: Measuring Fusions

Postby mdvaden » Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:43 am

LOL ...

I think this may be called the Super Colossus ...

Single? Fuses? Anomaly?

Tossing this here, after thinking about what I just said about the Corkscrew Tree and the ability of redwood to do the unusual.
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#23)  Re: Measuring Fusions

Postby mdvaden » Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:50 am

yofoghorn wrote:
One must consider basal area when discussing stability. Sure, a fusion with more basal area than a single-stem could have more basal area for root rot. However, additional basal area gives a tree more stability and a fusion that is not in a regular circular shape will add basal area compared to trunk volumes. Take any double tree, say Screaming Titans. It has a much larger basal area to volume than Del Norte Titan, for example.



Zane


Sometimes they have more basal area. Sometimes not. But if they have a little extra, I see them having extra weakness beneath to neutralize the benefit (if there is one).

I think they may still be neck in neck with singles.

But I've done a ton of tree removals, and seen many over 30 years of tree work, to see the weakness that side-by-side stems give each other. Its a weakness accumulated in earlier age. Redwoods would just fuse around and encapsulate and store the weakness. But its still in there.

I think a lot of the Goosepens are a fair testimonial of that weakness. The stems peel or fall away easier, because there is little root on the side blocked by the other trunk. Then the bare wood is exposed, and the fire burns its way in over one or more episodes
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#24)  Re: Measuring Fusions

Postby yofoghorn » Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:52 am

mdvaden wrote: I think it may boil down to opinion.

Trees can do such odd things, like the Corkscrew Tree, it seems a real possibility that an absolute single stem redwood could disfigure or alter its shape over centuries and develop what to one's eye would seem to be likely fusion. May not be the norm, but it seems withing the realm of possibilities.


So mainly, Mario, this page wasn't intended for the dispute of "single-stem" trees or trying to disqualify them. Have you read the formula? Based on it, all trees that are even "remotely questionable" as to whether they're single or not would qualify as "single-stems." This is why I created the formula in the first place: to be able to quantify impressive double trees fairly AND to make sure none of the "single-stems" that could be questionable fusions do not come into debate. The point is not to debate the "singleness" of Del Norte Titan versus Howland Hill Giant but rather to debate how we measure trees like Lost Monarch and other large trees that do not achieve "singleness" but are darn close, like the tree photographed above.

So I see no point in debating the trees that we can literally not know whether or not they are single stems or fusions. If any of them are fusions, they've become so physiologically integrated that it DOES NOT MATTER and they are considered single stems to begin with. What this formula is intended for are the trees that are debated. Del Norte Titan, Iluvatar, El Viejo del Norte are all "single-stems" and so will they ever be. I'm not challenging that status. I'm trying to be inclusive of other trees, rather than exclusive to only the non-challeneged "single-stems."

For the largest clonal species on earth [largest ramets and potentially largest genets (a possible direction for future research down the line)], some of the clonal and fused titans should be both recognized and given their best shot at measuring and ranking them.
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#25)  Re: Measuring Fusions

Postby yofoghorn » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:00 am

mdvaden wrote:Sometimes they have more basal area. Sometimes not. But if they have a little extra, I see them having extra weakness beneath to neutralize the benefit (if there is one).

I think they may still be neck in neck with singles.

But I've done a ton of tree removals, and seen many over 30 years of tree work, to see the weakness that side-by-side stems give each other. Its a weakness accumulated in earlier age. Redwoods would just fuse around and encapsulate and store the weakness. But its still in there.

I think a lot of the Goosepens are a fair testimonial of that weakness. The stems peel or fall away easier, because there is little root on the side blocked by the other trunk. Then the bare wood is exposed, and the fire burns its way in over one or more episodes


Okay, so for ranking, are you saying that since single and double stems are neck in neck, the total volume of an entire tree should be counted? Screaming Titans volume is its total volume to be compared with single stem trees? So what about fusions with 3, 4, 5 trunks? Should the volume of all trunks be considered in the volume measurement? Should a massive three trunked tree with a 30K trunk and two 10K trunks be considered a 50K tree? Of course not, at least in my mind. But is this what you are suggesting? How do we measure these trees? I find it unfair to just call that tree a 30K tree, but it's also unfair to call it a 50K tree. Depending on the level of the split (see formula), the tree would be somewhere between 30K and 50K, and if the splits are really low down, it would be 33K or something like that. Not really unfair for an impressive 'theoretical' fusion like that.

These are the questions we are trying to answer. Not whether or not something is a fusion, but just a general approach as to how to classify fusions.

Again, none of your responses have addressed the formula which is exactly what we're trying to discuss in the first place. Based on the formula, all of the perceived "single-stems," regardless of proof of fusion or lack thereof, are not being debated or changed because of the formula. It is simply the trees that can be debated as either single or fused stems.
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#26)  Re: Measuring Fusions

Postby John Harvey » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:05 am

Zane,
To me your photo is a "single trunk" fusion, much like Terex or Father of the Forest.  Would you consider it the same?

With this new formula are their trees you think would immediately vault up to being some of the "larger" ones once its applied? Maybe a Chesty Puller (although a rather oblong tree) or some other fusion of the northern parks? There are several massive fused trees that have always made me wonder that fall outside of the realm of "accepted single stems". One of these is in PCRSP pretty much in plain view yet I've never seen a photo or heard it mentioned by anyone. Ill have to toss a few of them your way on FB with photos and GPS coordinates.
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#27)  Re: Measuring Fusions

Postby mdvaden » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:06 am

yofoghorn wrote:Hi everybody,

For years now, the tree community that measures and documents coast redwoods have come across a huge conundrum that really boils down to "what is an individual tree?" and "how does one document clonal organisms like the coast redwood?" For the coast redwood, usually trees create large clones and fusions that are irregular. After talking with John Montague, Michael Taylor, and Yinghai Lu, we all decided that there has to be a way to better document and make fusions "fair" and their parameters definable for comparison with the large single stems.


Related to what you just wrote, let me quote this part from the OP .. part in bold letters.

Then maybe the way to go, is no comparison, but just the documentation and measuring.

But if you want "definable" ... it seems more scrutiny may come into play than what you relayed in one of your last replies.
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#28)  Re: Measuring Fusions

Postby mdvaden » Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:08 am

yofoghorn wrote:
Okay, so for ranking, are you saying that since single and double stems are neck in neck, the total volume of an entire tree should be counted?


What I meant is their stability or inherent weakness is neck and neck.
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#29)  Re: Measuring Fusions

Postby Don » Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:18 am

I do think this will all sort out easier than it appears, although I'm first to agree, that the redwood's "sex life" compounds issues, as well as its "sociability" with other nearby "kin".
One thing that would aid the discussion, and I know it's no small task to get around these behemoths, but having two, three or four "quadrant-ed" views could really help us who haven't the exposure that you guys have had to these "gobsmackers"!  The last half dozen or so have been great for showing the "fusion", it would be as useful to see the remainder of the circumference where possible...
Thanks for continuing this discussion!  More to come!!
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#30)  Re: Measuring Fusions

Postby John Harvey » Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:01 pm

Don,
 Its a little off topic but your "different photos from different angles" comment made me think about a project I was working on. These trees have such character that in many cases its almost impossible to tell if it the same tree from opposite sides.  So I started grafting photos side by side of the front and the back to demonstrate that. There are several trees that lose almost all the appeal they have when viewed from a different angle. The screaming titans is one of these. From the back the trees are pretty boring. I guess it relates to this thread because the "fusion" can sometimes only encompass one side of the tree and from another angle change the class it were in. I've seen this to a lesser extent with silver maple, american basswood, and sycamore back east.
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