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New dbh champ for SESE

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:48 pm
by John Montague
On May 15, 2014, Joseph Hall and I discovered a giant single-stem redwood while bushwhacking through a remote area in Northern California. Our preliminary measurements suggested this SESE's diameter was larger than Lost Monarch.

For independent verification, I returned to the tree with Zane Moore and Luke Adams. The difference between upslope ground level and downslope ground level was 16', so we painstakingly performed an even tape wrap at upper ground level. The result was 23.95'. This measurement was treated as 8' above average ground level, and Zane then plugged in Bob Van Pelt's functional dbh equation. This yielded a functional dbh of 27.2'.

In our opinion 27.2' is a conservative number, because the functional dbh equation accounts for an average SESE taper, and the taper between 4.5' and 8' on this tree is well above average.

We can say with confidence that it is a new dbh champ for redwoods.

Joseph and I have named the tree "Crocodile".

Re: New dbh champ for SESE

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:55 pm
by John Harvey
Do you have photos or a height measurement for this tree?

Re: New dbh champ for SESE

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:26 pm
by John Montague
JohnnyDJersey wrote:Do you have photos or a height measurement for this tree?
There are some members of the tree community who discourage releasing photos of champion redwoods, and I have chosen to respect their wishes.

A Formal height survey hasn't been performed yet. Once I've done that, I'll post the results. I will say that Crocodile isn't very tall.

Re: New dbh champ for SESE

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:56 pm
by John Harvey
Yeah I take issue all the time with these "members". If you research my post you will see I've hurt quite a few of their feelings by posting hundreds of photos of champion redwoods and dozens of other trees I've come across. In fact if you read this post: http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=6388 I think I put the issue to bed pretty well.

Re: New dbh champ for SESE

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:21 pm
by John Harvey
No disrespect to you though, John. I just believe that there is no evidence that shows that online photos damage the trees or shorten their lives by attracting masses of people to them. I've seen most of the larger ones and with the exception of the Grove of the Titans which reached rock star status because of the book, "The Wild Trees", they remain mostly unscathed. Even the ones who's photographs appear online the most. In fact I think that photos promote conservation by giving the trees the interest and respect they deserve. That being said I think exact locations should be secret and guarded to minimize traffic.

Re: New dbh champ for SESE

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:15 pm
by jamesrobertsmith
This reminds me of the jerks who find beautiful waterfalls and tell all about them to interested parties...and then won't tell where they are or how to locate them. The ultimate snobs.

Re: New dbh champ for SESE

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:49 pm
by John Harvey
I think there's a fine line sometimes between conservation and elitism in conservationist clothing fed by he delusion of masses of people heading "off trail" in Redwood national and state parks.

Re: New dbh champ for SESE

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:42 am
by John Montague
JohnnyDJersey wrote:No disrespect to you though, John. I just believe that there is no evidence that shows that online photos damage the trees or shorten their lives by attracting masses of people to them. I've seen most of the larger ones and with the exception of the Grove of the Titans which reached rock star status because of the book, "The Wild Trees", they remain mostly unscathed. Even the ones who's photographs appear online the most. In fact I think that photos promote conservation by giving the trees the interest and respect they deserve. That being said I think exact locations should be secret and guarded to minimize traffic.
Discovering an ancient tree of this nature brings with it a lifetime of responsibility. Protecting the tree far outweighs the need to please the public, and it far outweighs the need to feed my personal ego. I do believe that people have a right to know it exists, but beyond that, my loyalty is to the tree itself. If anything bad ever happened to Crocodile at the hands of people, I would feel responsible for the chain of events that led to its demise. That is a burden I do not wish to carry. My goal here is to alert the community of the tree's existence, and nothing more.

Re: New dbh champ for SESE

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:24 pm
by John Harvey
John, there is no real way for me to respond to that statement other than what I've already typed here. The photo non-photo argument is just one that makes my eyes roll. I respect your sense of responsibility to protect the tree even though I think your modus operandi is excessive and your perceived threat that a photo would cause is definitely non-existant and maybe fueled by a small handful of either misinformed, elitist, or paranoid individuals.

Re: New dbh champ for SESE

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:34 pm
by JHall


One has the right to follow his own moral code and obligation to be true to his own self. The high level of devotion and discipline demonstrated by John Montague is admirable and deserves applause. I am honored to have had the experience of working with him in the field.

The new, unexpected discovery of Crocodile can instill one with hope that other superlative trees are still waiting to be found - this is very exciting news.



Joseph Hall
Iowa