Russ Forest Lidar

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gjschmidt
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Russ Forest Lidar

Post by gjschmidt » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:18 am

I visited Russ Forest Park in Cass County, MI in 2012 and saw the remnants of a tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera) allegedly 60 m (200 ft) tall. The log on display was not convincing, and I was unable to find any trees that came close to that size. This was before I had a laser rangefinder. I found one tuliptree I estimated to be about 35 m (116 ft) tall and some high canopy oak forest.

Recently, I found that that LIDAR point cloud data is available for this area (https://viewer.nationalmap.gov/basic/). This type of data can be viewed with ArcGIS. Now I can validate my earlier measurements and see if I was in the right spot for big trees. It turns out that I was too far east for the big trees, though my earlier estimate of the one tree wasn't too far off. The maximum LIDAR height was at about 45 m (148 ft), which is probably close to a record for any tree in Michigan. I do not know what species it is yet. I will have to find an excuse to revisit the site this summer.
Last edited by gjschmidt on Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
Greg Schmidt

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gjschmidt
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Re: Russ Forest Lidar

Post by gjschmidt » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:28 am

Here are some LIDAR maps and cross section...
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Forest structure cross section
Forest structure cross section
Russ Forest LIDAR map
Russ Forest LIDAR map
Greg Schmidt

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gjschmidt
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Re: Russ Forest Lidar

Post by gjschmidt » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:51 am

Here's a map off my previous visit of Russ Forest.
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Map of previous visit photo points
Map of previous visit photo points
Log of former champion
Log of former champion
Greg Schmidt

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DougBidlack
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Re: Russ Forest Lidar

Post by DougBidlack » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:11 pm

I'm currently in Michigan and I will be here for another 9 days. I'm hoping to measure trees on as many of those days as possible and if I have time I was hoping to spend some time in Russ Forest. I've never been there so it should be fun. Both white pine and red pine are confirmed over 148' in the state and I expect tuliptree to at least make 140'. Maybe it can come close to 148'? So far I've only gotten 135' for tuliptree at Warren Woods but I believe there are taller ones at that site. Tomorrow I will spend another full day at Lower Huron Metropark and I'll remeasure a tuliptree that I got to 133.5' back in 2011 or so. It should be close to 140' by now if it is growing well

Doug

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dbhguru
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Re: Russ Forest Lidar

Post by dbhguru » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:48 am

Doug,

I look forward to your report. Michigan has long been a player in eastern tall tree competitions. There are outstanding trees and sites in Michigan (e.g. Hartwick Pines) and we want to continue putting real numbers on them. You are our main source of information. In the past, Will Blozan and I made contributions, and Iowa's Mark Rouw likewise, but now it's primarily left to you.

Past outlandish claims that have been made for tree heights in Michigan by big tree hunters, and one in particular, maintain an Internet life of their own. It's too bad that we don't have a couple of permanent Cadre members in MIchigan. Do you have any contact with big tree hunters there who might possess the skills we need? Anyone out there interested? gjschmidt?

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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DougBidlack
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Re: Russ Forest Lidar

Post by DougBidlack » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:43 pm

Bob,

I've met several people in Michigan that have an interest in big and tall trees but I'm not sure if any have actually caught the 'fever' just yet. I'm gonna try and contact a couple people to see if they want to measure some trees with me. A little late but hopefully it will still be possible on such short notice.

I just measured that Lower Huron tuliptree and it didn't grow much in height. It's only about 136.5' tall (still the tallest I've measured to date) and like the other tall trees along the Huron River the height growth is pretty low so it seems that they are getting close to topping out. Their girth growth is still going strong though. I've checked out 43 trees so far but I'm sure I won't make it through all 150+ that I have on my list. It is supposed to rain for the next two days and I have to prune a bunch of trees too so I'll probably do that while it's raining.

Doug

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Russ Forest Lidar

Post by Erik Danielsen » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:17 pm

I've got to say, the trees in that point cloud are almost sure to be tulips! MI should definitely have some between 140 and 150, if not taller. I now visit Michigan once every couple of months, in the detroit metro area, but hope to find a spot to measure some trees in one of my next visits. The Kensington Metropark is a short walk from where I usually stay but is not a tall site.

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gjschmidt
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Re: Russ Forest Lidar

Post by gjschmidt » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:39 pm

Any notable tree that happens to be near a field site, I will attempt a measurement, if I am aware of it. Officially, that could be anywhere in the Lower Peninsula down to northwest Indiana, east to northwest Pennsylvania. That said, my fieldwork has been fairly limited in range range in the last few years due to flat agency budgets. Of course anything within an hour of Grand Rapids, is not difficult to do on a weekend. Any new data, I do enter into that tree database.

Once we get more LiDAR data, I may also be using it to screen potential field sites for possible vegetation inventory, especially if it requires longer travel times. Canopy height might give me a clue on the quality of the site. It the stand is too short, it may well be too disturbed and not a good representative of native vegetation.
Greg Schmidt

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gjschmidt
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Re: Russ Forest Lidar

Post by gjschmidt » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:43 pm

I'll have to find where these often cited metroparks are and look at their LiDAR canopy heights. SE Michigan has full LiDAR coverage.
Greg Schmidt

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DougBidlack
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Re: Russ Forest Lidar

Post by DougBidlack » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:35 am

Erik,
where do you stay near Kensington Metropark? I grew up along the north side of Kensington Metropark and I am here with my parents right now. I can literally look into the park from here. I'd love to meet up with you someday and show you the best places in the park. Proud Lake State Recreation Area is also adjacent to this park to the north and is more mesic with plenty of tuliptrees, sugar maples and beeches among others. I'm going to be making a post on Kensington Metropark in a little while but I still have to get through a backlog of sites first.

Gjschmidt,
any chance you can make it to Russ Forest this weekend or next? I'll be here this Saturday and Sunday and the following Saturday as well.

Doug

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