Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Discussions of trees, forests, trip reports and site descriptions of other locations in Australia and New Zealand.

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

Brett Mifsud
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:43 pm

Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Post by Brett Mifsud » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:48 am

Hello all tall tree enthusiasts!
Today, September the 8th 2018, Tom Greenwood and I climbed and measured a LiDAR target: a 1926 origin regrowth tree, located about 60km east of Melbourne. At first, Tom thought I'd played a trick on him by depositing the tape in the creek below to add a few meters to the tree's height - because the tape drop height came in at 92.10m! However, I assured him that the tape had come down on the high side of ground and the measurement was accurate. Not only does this discovery give Victoria a tree over 300 feet tall again (We'd lost the 92.4m tall Big Ash One in the bushfires of 2009), as far as I know, it is the first known tree originating from the 20th century to reach 90m tall. This includes the entire planet, not just Australia! The tree is located in a sheltered gully and has a thriving, upwardly mobile and healthy crown. Hopefully it can escape the ravages of fire and windstorms for many more years yet and one day reach its full height potential.

I've posted a few photos on my website
https://victoriasgianttrees.weebly.com/ ... -news.html

best regards
Brett

User avatar
Rand
Posts: 1217
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:25 pm

Re: Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Post by Rand » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:13 am

I remember as a little kid reading about the legendary 'Mountain ashes' of Australia in Guinness Book of World Records, and being utterly befuddled...as the only mountain ash I knew of was the runty little European rowan my dad planted in the yard.

User avatar
dbhguru
Posts: 4550
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Post by dbhguru » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:39 am

Brett,

Astounding. Thanks so much for your truly exciting post. The eucalypts are among my favorite species despite their being seen as invasive in California. The tree is 92 years old as I understand. Now comes the big question. Do you have any idea about what its size might have been at say 50 years of age? Is it growing height-wise as rapid now as it was at 50, slowed down, sped up?

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

User avatar
M.W.Taylor
Site Admin
Posts: 542
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:45 am

Re: Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Post by M.W.Taylor » Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:00 pm

Incredible !

Thanks for sharing the great news Brett. I recall that 300'+ tree in Wallaby Creek had a top that was flattening out, indicating a slowdown in vertical growth. This tree looks like it just wants to keep going upward. It has wet feet so water stress should not be a problem.

Question: If you got 92.10m to the high side, might that height be conservative ? How much lower was the low side do you estimate ?

I'd give you 100 likes if the ENTS system would allow it.



Brett Mifsud wrote:Hello all tall tree enthusiasts!
Today, September the 8th 2018, Tom Greenwood and I climbed and measured a LiDAR target: a 1926 origin regrowth tree, located about 60km east of Melbourne. At first, Tom thought I'd played a trick on him by depositing the tape in the creek below to add a few meters to the tree's height - because the tape drop height came in at 92.10m! However, I assured him that the tape had come down on the high side of ground and the measurement was accurate. Not only does this discovery give Victoria a tree over 300 feet tall again (We'd lost the 92.4m tall Big Ash One in the bushfires of 2009), as far as I know, it is the first known tree originating from the 20th century to reach 90m tall. This includes the entire planet, not just Australia! The tree is located in a sheltered gully and has a thriving, upwardly mobile and healthy crown. Hopefully it can escape the ravages of fire and windstorms for many more years yet and one day reach its full height potential.

I've posted a few photos on my website
https://victoriasgianttrees.weebly.com/ ... -news.html

best regards
Brett

User avatar
AndrewJoslin
Posts: 408
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Post by AndrewJoslin » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:39 pm

In regard to Michael's comment on the flattened out, slower growing crown of the Wallaby Creek tree, I suspect this has more to do with the surrounding average canopy height than the ability of a plus 300' tree to continue fast upward growth. I think this goes for the classic "emergent" species. They aggressively rise up above the average forest height but there is probably some height "self-regulation" (no competition for light, why not spread out?) along with the expected effects of weather events in the danger zone above the average forest canopy. Maybe that's obvious ;-)

These factors create more questions about what are the ultimate height limiters. In precolonial eastern North America for example, with higher average canopies in eastern forests, how tall could white pine and tuliptree get?
-AJ

Brett Mifsud
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:43 pm

Re: Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Post by Brett Mifsud » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:05 pm

Hi All
Just to clarify the measurement as it resides on very steep ground.

Measuring pole to top leaves: 2.70m
Tape drop from bottom of pole to high point of ground 88.50m
Difference between high /low points 1.8m = midpoint 0.90m

You'll be pleased to know I also insisted Tom wear his glasses when reading measurements!

The tree is 1926 in origin and we have been monitoring a stand of very tall 1926 trees just 2 km to the west of this stand for 14 years. These trees are adding a meter in height every 3-5 years. Sometimes there are seasonal factors, drought, rain, heat etc that affect growth.
The 300y/o+ Big Ash One was first measured at 91.6 in 2001 and died at 92.4 in 2009. This indicates that if this current 1926 tree's top stays alive, it still has 200y+ of height growth ahead of it!

best regards
Brett

Brett Mifsud
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:43 pm

Re: Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Post by Brett Mifsud » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:36 pm

Just one final thing - a big thank you to Michael Taylor for his generosity, guidance and encouragement over the last 20 years to all things related to big and tall trees - it is greatly appreciated!
Brett

User avatar
mdvaden
Posts: 883
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:30 pm

Re: Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Post by mdvaden » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:14 pm

Brett, I realized that you meant this is a tree with the fastest height increase you are aware of. Did you measure it's girth and volume change to know whether it's the really the fastest GROWING tree on the planet?

Any idea how much volume this tree actually gained? Either way, sounds like a nice surprise to learn about.

Apparently fire, etc., must be a big factor for trees down there, because with that sort of height rate gain, it seems like there should be an abundance of trees like you described.
Last edited by mdvaden on Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
M. D. Vaden of Oregon = http://www.mdvaden.com

200 Pages - Coast Redwoods - http://www.mdvaden.com/grove_of_titans.shtml

Portraits & Weddings - http://www.vadenphotography.com

User avatar
Don
Posts: 1569
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:42 am

Re: Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Post by Don » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:58 pm

Mario-
Liked hearing your question about volume gain...we've been working with some reticled monoculars (Vortex Solo 8 x 36 R/T, and a Bushnell 10 x 42 Ultra HD Tactical Monocular) that are the cat's meow for modeling tree volume...especially the Bushnell. In fact, Bob Leverett has been teaming up with eastern folks to ground-truth LiDAR imagery...exciting stuff, can be tied into carbon sequestration issues.
-Don
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

User avatar
M.W.Taylor
Site Admin
Posts: 542
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:45 am

Re: Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Post by M.W.Taylor » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:16 pm

mdvaden wrote:Brett, I realized that you meant this is a tree with the fastest height increase you are aware of. Did you measure it's girth and volume change to know whether it's the really the fastest GROWING tree on the planet?

Any idea how much volume this tree actually gained? Either way, sounds like a nice surprise to learn about.

Apparently fire, etc., must be a big factor for trees down there, because with that sort of height rate gain, it seems like there should be an abundance of trees like you described.

Good point Mario.

I would say 'Fastest sustained vertical height growth known on the planet'.

Post Reply

Return to “Australia and New Zealand”