Fastest growing tree on the planet?

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mdvaden
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Re: Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Post by mdvaden » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:43 pm

M.W.Taylor wrote:Mario,

The top three fastest sustained vertical growing trees.

E. regnans 92.1m 92 years old (1926 re-growth) Victoria Province
Pseudotsuga menziesii 90.2m 112-118 years old (1900-1906 re-growth) Santa Cruz Mountains
Sequoia Sempervirens 87.0m 112-118 years old (1900-1906 re-growth) Santa Cruz Mountains
Michael, Sillett was sharing some tallest redwoods around Humboldt Del Norte grew like 4 years worth of height gain in single growing seasons during fairly recent years with less rain, clouds or fog. At least that's what I recall. It would denote whereas increased fog may yield larger or taller trees, that less overcast and more light can yield faster growing trees, whether height or size.

I'm not completely familiar with the climate where the trees you listed grow, but would there be extra sunlight around those compared to the Humboldt and Del Norte redwoods?
M. D. Vaden of Oregon = http://www.mdvaden.com

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gnmcmartin
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Re: Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Post by gnmcmartin » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:18 pm

Bob:

At this point, I think I am getting way out of my depth on the MAI and CMAI calculations and applications, and how they affect rotation length and/or harvesting schedules for the forests you see in MA. I am getting old, and much of what I know is out of date. I was speaking strictly of those calculations for even-aged conifer plantations and simple cubic feet production. When we move to hardwoods, especially mixed stands of hardwoods which not only include, of course, different species, different stocking levels, sites of different quality, and a product mix of more than one type, the issue becomes exponentially more complex. I spent about 10 minutes on some internet search topics, and learned there has been some research on MAI and CMAI for some different hardwood types, and realize that not only am I out of my depth here, but also that I have little hope of correcting that situation. I think research on this topic has not advanced very far, and it would take some considerable time for me to find out just what research has been done and how useful it may be.

And when we get to uneven-aged hardwood stands, I think virtually everyone is "out of their depth," so to speak. Or, dare I say, any such calculations are probably impossible even if the terms themselves are not completely irrelevant, which is what I suspect.

But, like you, I love trees and forests, and an dismayed to see them so abused, not only with cutting long before the forests have had much of a chance to develop fully, but with other destructive practices also. And, as you suggest, even if the goal is the maximum investment return as measured in cold hard cash, mistakes are made, in some cases probably due to some measure of incompetence, in others some measure of malfeasance of one kind or another, and, in spite of what I believe to be the best efforts of forest research scientists, a lack of the needed knowledge.

If I had the kinds of interactions with foresters that you are having in MA, I might be able to comment. I might suggest that if you are talking to people who have confidence in their application of measurements of MAI and calculations of the timing of CMAI in mixed hardwood stands, or stands of mixed hardwoods and conifers, even in those that are even-aged, their confidence could well be misplaced, and you could well have grounds for questioning their assumptions and conclusions.

--Gaines

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dbhguru
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Re: Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Post by dbhguru » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:45 am

Gaines,

Thanks. Uneven-aged mixed species forests are bewilderingly complex to sort out, and where really large hardwoods are involved, as you point out, practically impossible. However, I'm usually very differential toward my forestry friends and respect what they believe that they have gained from their individual experiences. Where things go astray is when they substitute economic criteria for biological ones. This, I think, has pushed them to justify ever shorter stand rotations. Increasingly, I'm seeing early successional species and their uses excepted as a valid substitute for the kind of trees you grow and management that you do.

Today were in this battle over biomass harvesting for energy generation, and sadly, I'm watching as, one by one, they succumb to the temptation to rationalize what they do to supply that hideous carbon-spewing market. One of the long time members of NTS left us over this issue. Alas, I fear that he's gone completely over to the dark side. Tell us it ain't so J**. J**? J**?


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

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gnmcmartin
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Re: Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Post by gnmcmartin » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:19 pm

Bob:

Some really good work has been done with uneven-aged hardwood management, and studies of this go back many years. But this has nothing to do with MAI and CMAI calculations. About 42 years ago I was given a tour of two such uneven-aged hardwood research plots by H. Clay Smith. I have a copy of a research report on one or more of these plots "buried" somewhere. I have moved three times since, so it may take some effort to find it. I can also check to see if reports of this research project are now on-line anywhere. Clay Smith passed away a few years ago, I believe. He was a wonderfully helpful to me when I contacted him shortly after I bought my timberland--he spent most of a full day giving me a personal tour of the Parsons, WV research forest.

The uneven-aged research plots were just a part of what Clay Smith showed me that day, but they were perhaps the outstanding highlight. The plots were quite beautiful, and contained a mix of at least 8 or 10 species, and a mix of all size classes, up to the maximum commonly achieved by each species, which for red oak, sugar maple, black cherry, etc. was something between 32 and 38 inches or so. Once a determination was made for what the largest size for each species was to be, size classes were established for the rest of the trees in the stand, moving down, I believe, by 2" diameter classes to a point where the trees were below a specific size, and those were ignored.. A formula was devised so that specific numbers of trees would be reserved in each of these size classes--a formula that I once understood, but cannot now clearly explain. In any case, the result was the preservation of a specific ratio between the size classes, so that periodic cutting from all the size classes would maintain a constant proportion of trees in each size class. Of course as the size classes increased, the numbers of trees in each class declined, so that in the largest size class, there were just one or two trees per acre.

The beauty of the stand was the result of each tree that was left to grow into the next size class were the healthiest and best formed trees. The largest trees were something to see for their size and beautiful form/structure. Also, the mix of trees of different sizes, with some openings created as the larger trees were removed, created a wonderfully aesthetically pleasing forest. On the economic side, this management regime would produce a constant "flow" of sawtimber and pulpwood far into the future, with the quality of trees perhaps even improving over time. This management was the exact opposite of the "high-grading" so often done.

So why aren't more forests managed this way? Well, it is time consuming and expensive. The tree selection process, which I think was done every five years or so--maybe 10--required an expert forester and took time. Then, the excess deer population very often destroys the needed reproduction. Also, the harvesting had to be done with extreme care so as to leave the trees not harvested undamaged. Loggers who can, and/or are willing to do this, are either extremely rare, or non-existent. I have seen logging done with horses that would not make the grade. Myself, and the Amish man who logged with me on my timberland for four winters, using a 4-wheel drive farm tractor and a special winch, and snatch blocks, would make the grade. We usually worked with snow cover, and so little was disturbed that in spring, a person walking where we had worked might not notice that any trees were cut and logged.

But, I am not practicing this kind of uneven-aged management. I talked to Clay Smith about the possibility of converting my basically even-aged stand into one managed as these plots were managed, and he told me that such a conversion would take a long time, and could be complicated. And, in my area, deer wipe out any and all reproduction, except in areas of large clear cuts, where the deer have so much browse that they can't get everything. But, even then, they do manage to destroy all the reproduction of oaks and sugar maple, etc, leaving only the less "tasty" species, mostly black and yellow birch, and some hemlock, to grow.

Well, I miss Joe. I don't like the biomass production for power plants either, but.... No, I can't believe that Joe has gone over to any kind of "dark side." I believe he was a very committed and "concerned" forester who loves forests much as we do, and perhaps understands them better.

Well, over time we may see some changes in how our forests are managed. As for privately owned forest lands, not much can be done except to impose some decent regulations to protect the environment, including the soil and endangered species, etc. On state owned lands, our voices can matter, and maybe the ballot box can help also. Keep advocating for what you believe is the best use/management of these lands.

--Gaines

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gnmcmartin
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Re: Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Post by gnmcmartin » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:34 am

Bob and NTS folks:

I want to make sure that my last post about uneven-aged hardwood management research doesn't leave a false impression. The study I cited involves a more intensive form of management and harvesting than is actually needed. A very basic single tree selection "system" can be much, much more simple. Anyone with just some basic knowledge of the silvics of the species involved, can do a very good job without all the tree measuring and counting. But, "single tree selection" is a very general term, so I would add something like a "silvicultural" and/or "TSI" single tree selection system. One with just some basic knowledge can "eyeball" this. The idea is to cut/harvest trees when they reach the point in their growth where their future increase in value is limited, and/or when they are impeding the growth of better trees. One can go through a stand every 5 or 10 years, and cut what seems "ready" according to these two criteria: the largest trees will be cut, or left to grow even bigger if their potential for additional growth and value increase is very good: and smaller, less valuable trees should be cut when their future growth does not look so good. A stand managed this way will over time very much resemble one that has been managed according to the more strict rules used in the study I cited. The production of valuable logs may not be so even over time, and at some points more harvesting may be done than at other times, but this can be, essentially, just as good a management strategy.

Of course, again, an excessive deer population will limit reproduction, and make this kind of management untenable over the long term. And, again, very careful logging must be done

Yes, I want to make sure that I don't give the impression that managing a forest, including uneven-aged ones, is some kind of arcane "rocket science."

--Gaines

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dbhguru
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Re: Fastest growing tree on the planet?

Post by dbhguru » Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:35 pm

Gaines,

My last response was a little short. Here's a better one for anyone who might wonder what the fuss is all about.

Joe stayed with us on the NTS BBS for years. He was a fixture, and his input was valued, but after Ed's last response to Joe's famous "deconstructions", Joe asked us to remove him from the BBS. He made it clear that he wanted nothing more to do with us. So, we accommodated him.

The individual he was defending that Ed kicked off the BBS a number of years ago and Joe are very vociferous defenders (excusers for) of big biomass these days. Their posts get pretty ugly. I seriously doubt that you would approve of the tactics of either. I certainly don't. Joe's welcome back if he wants to return, but if he comes on to defend biomass in whatever form, history will repeat itself.

For those of you who don't know, I have a long history with Joe and many of his forestry associates. So does Don Bertolette. During a period of protracted interactions with forestry leaders, I was once a kind of pen pal with a past president of SAF. So, there's lots behind the scenes that does not need to be aired here. That said, I hate to lose anyone who come to NTS and makes legitimate contributions. But after the expulsion of Joe's friend, I had told Joe in many private exchanges that the BBS is not a Massachusetts forestry bitch forum. It once nearly became that, causing us to lose the late great Colby Rucker for a period of time, and I bear a good deal of responsibility for letting things get out of hand. Ain't gonna happen again.

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

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