I think these articles were written by Ed Frank. If I'm wrong I apologize to Will Blozan. Ed and I had a number of telephone conversations about the Wikipedia guidelines while he was writing them. I know that Ed struggled to get the input into the format Wikipedia wanted because they want outside sources for everything even if its new information and the author is the source.
Years earlier, I provided input to Wikipedia on tree measuring, but became frustrated when others could easily make changes, compromising the value of the information. But the waters are still muddy. We see the disclaimer at the top of Ed's first article:
The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Who wrote that and why? Whose worldwide view differs and in what way? They haven't a freaking clue.
The story of tree-measuring for sport and citizen science (American Forests, NTS, the Cadre, etc.), while boring to the majority of non-measurement focused tree aficionados, needs to be told - at least in my humble opinion. Don Bertolette, Sheri Shannon, and yours truly are planning to write an account for American Forests. It will take several months. Not sure where it will be published, but listing all the players, the measuring methods and how they were developed, needs to be done if the real stuff is to be distinguished from the many inaccurate sources.
Over the years, NTS has been a leader in developing methods for measuring trees for sport and citizen science. In 2013, that role shifted to American Forests, but the effort still includes NTS. We've taken the guesswork out of measuring tree height, and offer a range of techniques for crown spread. Oddly, our biggest remaining challenge is improving methods for measuring circumference for the big tree competitions. This ostensibly simplest of tree dimension measurements gives us fits. For simple tree forms, no problem, but for the complex ones, we're really still at the front door.
The attachment offers two methods for dealing with several aberrant trunk forms and there are more to come. A cleaned up version of these two methods, appropriate to wide range of tree measurers, will be published in a revised version of the American Forests Tree-Measuring Guidelines handbook. This early version includes all the mechanics of the methods so others can help debug. The version that will be presented for wide use will be a simple calculation form or spreadsheet. Supply the measurements and get the answer.
As a concluding comment, there are other trunk forms that we yet have no clue on how to handle, e.g. banyan trees with their aerial root systems. Ideas are welcome.
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder and Executive Director
Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest