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Posted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:09 am
Someone should write a Wikipedia article on NTS.
Posted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:40 am
I see one on tree measurement by Will Blozan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_measurement
and another on tree height measurement also by Will: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_height_measurement
I think there was once a Wikipedia site for NTS but I can't find it.
Posted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:02 am
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.
Posted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:28 am
I started a good half dozen myself. But it used to be easier and simpler to figure out some years ago, especially for images. But I started ones I understood. ENTs I don't understand enough in fine detail to start.
But often help edit paragraphs, vocabulary and spelling for various pages these days once someone else gets the ball in motion.
Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:43 am
A problem at Wikipedia is that the editors often know nothing about the subject they are editing. They are just reading published sources and cannot separate reliable sources from unreliable ones.
Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:33 am
I read the comment for the Wikipedia article "Tree height measurement". An extract:
In short, I have more confidence in numbers of log lengths and tree heights made by lumbermen who were experienced in the art of physically and directly measuring and cutting down trees than I have in the handful of hobbyists who measure the remnant few giant pine trees indirectly using lasers and range finders and often these hobbyists do not even release to the public where the trees are located, thus requiring a dose of faith in even these very modern measurements.
I am thinking it is not the best policy to keep the locations secret. You have to think from layman's perspective. "Handful of hobbyists say they have a better method than scientists and lumbermen. They say they found the tallest trees but don't reveal the locations, so preventing the verification of their finds." I think this is an image one very easily gets.
Tasmania has revealed the exact coordinates of every giant tree but I think they have had no problems with trampling etc. We reveal exact locations in Europe and I don't think there are any problems although Central Europe is so densely populated. Very few people are interested in the tallest trees by species. Instead, the laymen are interested in old trees with a story. The redwoods... okay, they should be left alone, but I don't think there are any danger in revealing the locations of the height records of the other species. Keeping the locations secret destroys a part of the credibility, in my opinion.
Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:52 am
That quote, "I have more confidence in numbers of log lengths and tree heights made by lumbermen " I find absurd. For one thing, few loggers ever bother to measure DBH and the height of the tree, once it's on the ground because they don't care about those variables. They'll cut out the merchantable logs and measure board footage (In America anyway). To get board footage they measure the small end of the log and its length and deduct for defect. So, they don't measure the variables that NTS measures. They would have no interest because they're too busy trying to earn a modest income. The mention of "hobbyists" is clearly insulting. There are of course hobbyists but then there are many who take the measurement of trees very seriously- that is the NTS folks. So, that critic has no clue.
Then that critic says, "these hobbyists do not even release to the public where the trees are located, thus requiring a dose of faith in even these very modern measurements". Really crazy. A dose of faith? Maybe whoever wrote that is a climate denier too. It's true that you need a dose of faith to believe what the real hobbyists measure because those hobbyists don't have the best methods- but it's obvious that the serious tree measurers do- so no faith is needed.
As for giving locations- some are given but not all and usually for good reasons but that critic wouldn't appreciate such reasons.
Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:17 am
I agree in everything. But many layman does not understand why NTS would have a better method. And because he does not understand he does not believe. Even I did not understand/believe in my early NTS time.
Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:27 am
When many of those involved in developing and advocating NTS methodologies are in fact foresters/tree workers and scientists, where does this delineation of "hobbyists" even come from? I can offer myself up as resembling the term "hobbyist" much more closely than many on this board who are legitimately credentialed- that hasn't stopped tree work professionals and botanists I interact with in the field from valuing and placing stock in my figures. Just wikipedia commenters, I guess.
Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:02 am
Kouta, Joe, Erik, et. al.,
The individual who wrote that inane rebuke of our methods and data obviously hasn't a clue. We are living in times when people who know absolutely knowing about a topic can sound off at will over the Internet. While their opinions are of no consequence to me, it brings up a real issue. How do we make our data count among those who matter?
One reason we are partnering with Virginia Tech Dendrology is to gain academic standing, which is important to getting our message across and our data more widely accepted. I'm not interested in convincing dumb asses like the individual quoted in this thread but I am concerned about gaining acceptance among those who truly matter, and that is happening. The VA Tech connection, Harvard Forests, American Forests, the state champion tree programs, various environmental educational organizations, the U.S. Forest Service, etc. all play a role. The more we can speak through them, the more our message will be accepted within the academic and professional communities.
In Mid-June we'll be holding a advanced tree-measuring workshop in Virginia, organized by:
P. Eric Wiseman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Urban Forestry
Dept. of Forest Resources and
Eric is also the state champion tree program coordinator for VA. We're hoping to meet at the Red Hill Plantation north of Lynchburg. It is Patrick Henry's old estate. NTS and Cadre members are all invited. It will be a one day event. Details to come.