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Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:28 pm
Here are some observations and pictures from my recent visit to Estonia, where I gave a guest lecture at the Estonian University of Life Science in Tartu and two presentations at the Forest Ungulate Research Network (FURN) conference at the university's 25,000 acre Jarvselja Forest. Perfectly straight Scots pine and Norway spruce and weeping birch reached heights of 140+ feet, with soils and climate apparently much better than in Finland or Sweden. My visit was hosted by my friend and professor at the Estonian University of Life Science, Kalev Jogiste, who spent 9 months in Minnesota as a Fulbright Scholar during 2010-2011. Tartu is a remote place--it takes 24 hours on 3 different airlines to go there from Minnesota, but with only 1.3 million people in the country, there are large tracts of remote forests to visit as well as excellent universities.
Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:16 pm
In Järvselja forest there are two potential European height records. The height claims are Scots pine 46.6 m (153 ft) and grey alder (Alnus incana
) 31 m (102 ft), but they have been measured with the tangent method (Vertex III and Blume-Leiss). You could have laser-measured them! The measurements have been published in e.g. here:
http://www.ilmajaam.ee/946166/jarvselja ... imad-puud/
Btw. Is it true that you have sustained yourself on earthworms in the Boundary Waters? ;)
http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRat ... id=1618744
Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:12 pm
Congrats on being able to spread your wisdom off our continent!
Give us some numbers! 140' birch? Really?
Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:44 am
I answer for Lee as I can read Estonian (with difficulty); it is relatively close to my mother language Finnish. I hope Lee is fine with this. The news article gives following measured max. heights for the Järvselja forest:
Norway spruce (Picea abies) - 43.1 m (141 ft)
Silver birch (Betula pendula) - 36.0 m (118 ft)
Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) - 46.6 m (153 ft)
Aspen (Populus tremula) - 40.8 m (134 ft)
Downy birch (Betula pubescens) - 27.6 m (90.6 ft)
Grey alder (Alnus incana) - 31 m (102 ft)
Black alder (Alnus glutinosa) - 33.3 m (109 ft)
Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) - 35.2 m (115 ft)
Small-leaved linden (Tilia cordata) - 34.5 m (113 ft)
Following trees are now dead:
Black alder (Alnus glutinosa) - 34 m (112 ft)
Common juniper (Juniperus communis) - 14 m (46 ft)
The trees have been measured with Vertex III and Blume-Leiss (tangent method). I know it because the news were discussed in a Finnish dendrologist forum and one member asked the Järvselja people about the method.
I hope this helps.
Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:07 am
Will and Kouta:
Well, next time I go there, I will have to measure some trees. This trip I was too busy giving presentations and being treated like a king to measure trees. However, I did see some Betula pendula that I estimated visually at 42 m (138 feet), and I don't think the height claims made for Scots pine, aspen and Norway spruce that Kouta cited for Jarvselja forest are much exaggerated. Trees are quite straight there, so errors from using the tangent method would be minimal.
Regarding sustaining myself on earthworms, that must be a transmogrification from stories about the time I ran out of food while on a 7 week long wilderness trip, and lived for about 10 days on wild leeks (a type of onion) and thimbleberries (a type of raspberry). I discovered that one expends more calories digging up wild leeks than one gains by eating them. That was in the Porcupine Mountains, not the Boundary Waters, and a good thing it was because edible wild plants are not as abundant in the boundary waters.
Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:52 am
It would be great if you could verify some heights in Järvselja. According to the news article, there are signs to the record trees except Fraxinus
, Alnus glutinosa
which are located in a nature protection area not allowed to enter. Of course, your hosts take you where you want.
The tallest laser-measured Betula pendula
to our knowledge is 36.4 m tall and located in Białowieża NP, Poland, but I have a feeling it may become taller further north. In southern Finland there was a B. pendula
Vertex-measured to be 38.5 m tall. After the measurement a few meters piece dried and broke off. I laser-measured it last summer and found it 35.4 m tall. The foresters say the dried piece was more than one meter long, so the birch would have been taller than the Białowieża birch. If the birch you observed in Järvselja was even close to the estimated 42 m, it would be the European record, too.
I discovered that one expends more calories digging up wild leeks than one gains by eating them.
That makes sense. Unlike cows, humans don't have in their stomach those bacteria which make the former capable to digest cellulose.
Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:08 pm
It takes a hungry, hungry man to eat wild leeks for a week! And a hungry, hungry bear to get anywhere near a man who's eaten wild leeks for a week~~!~