Delta National Forest Part I Sweetgum Natural Research Area

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Rand
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Re: Delta National Forest Part I Sweetgum Natural Research A

Post by Rand » Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:59 pm

Larry Tucei wrote: Randy- Thanks for merging those two photos, you get a better sense of its size. Larry
You can get the exposure to be the same between both pictures if you lock out the autoexposure so the brightness level doesn't change abruptly across the seam. You'll have to look into your camera documentation to see if your camera can do this. On mine it's a single button called 'AE lock'. It usually works best to shoot the bottom first, hit the AE lock bottom so the camera will use the same exposure settings for the crown, then take the second picture. If you do it backwards, the crown will look good (Instead of being slightly washed out/overexposed), but the bole will be black because of the much dimmer light at ground level.

Newer cameras (and even the iPhone 5!) have dedicated panorama shooting modes that do the exposure locking and stitching automatically for you in the camera.

Another issue I've run into is shooting with a wide angle lens makes a mess when you go to stitch (<35 mm). You'll get two separate regions of barrel distortion in the stitched image. So instead of one columnar tree trunk, you'll get something that looks like two fat barrels stacked on top of each other. If you're shooting multiple trunks that aren't centered on the image, you'll get two regions where the trunks bow out toward the edge of the image. I had to screw up quite a few before I figured out what I was doing, and to remember to adjust my zoom properly.

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DonCBragg
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Re: Delta National Forest Part I Sweetgum Natural Research A

Post by DonCBragg » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:58 am

According to my fellow foresters who work in the bottomland hardwoods of this area, the Delta National Forest RNAs used to be a lot more impressive 20 years ago...wind and ice storms have taken their toll in recent years. Good to see a few big ones left--when I last visited this stand several years ago there had been a bout of mortality that had taken out a number of the bigger sweetgums...

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bbeduhn
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Re: Delta National Forest Part I Sweetgum Natural Research A

Post by bbeduhn » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:21 am

Larry,
Those sweetgums are magnificent! I've never seen them tall and fat. The few fatties I've seen are a bit stubby. That area definitely resembles Congaree a bit. The levees may prohibit the rapid growth in the future.

Joe

Re: Delta National Forest Part I Sweetgum Natural Research A

Post by Joe » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:27 pm

DonCBragg wrote:According to my fellow foresters who work in the bottomland hardwoods of this area, the Delta National Forest RNAs used to be a lot more impressive 20 years ago...wind and ice storms have taken their toll in recent years. Good to see a few big ones left--when I last visited this stand several years ago there had been a bout of mortality that had taken out a number of the bigger sweetgums...
Don, how do you do good logging work in the bottomlands without massive ruts, as I presume there's a high water table. I don't mean this place which of course is protected, but other areas.
Joe

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Jess Riddle
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Re: Delta National Forest Part I Sweetgum Natural Research A

Post by Jess Riddle » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:48 pm

Larry,

I’ve wanted to visit the Delta National Forest research natural areas ever since I read an article about them in Natural Areas journal about 10 years ago. The photograph that accompanies the article is from Sweetgum RNA and shows what look like three 4’ dbh sweetgums growing close together. It’s great to see some numbers from the area. I was expecting big trees, but not a 17’ sweetgum!

Jess

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Tyler
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Re: Delta National Forest Part I Sweetgum Natural Research A

Post by Tyler » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:11 am

Larry,

Awesome report! That largest sweetgum is virtually identical to the former national champ in Congaree. I measured that tree in 2007 (in my pre nts days). I got 17.5' cbh, measured over some vines and 134' tall shooting vertical with the laser. Of course it's crown has been blown out but the trunk remains. It would be great to get a volume comparison of that tree and yours to get a benchmark for the species. I look forward to more reports out of the area.

Tyler

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DonCBragg
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Re: Delta National Forest Part I Sweetgum Natural Research A

Post by DonCBragg » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:03 pm

Joe--sorry for not replying sooner...been real busy last couple of weeks...

The truth is that in a lot of places rutting is considered part of the business, even in the uplands. Many of the areas that will be planted to pine (mostly the uplands) will be ripped & bedded, so some rutting will be addressed then...I think many rutted sites in the bottomlands will flatten out with the high moisture that these sites get, but that is not universal--I've seen areas with ruts that are decades old. When many of these sites get wet, some operations use what are called "flotation" tires on their equipment, which are basically twice as wide as conventional equipment. Others will just stay out of the sites until they dry up enough to hold the equipment with a minimum of rutting...

fungi
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Re: Delta National Forest Part I Sweetgum Natural Research A

Post by fungi » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:13 am

Sweet land Lar! High canopy and it's really amazing to see those large girths. Was it 103' on one of those crown spreads!? Sick!

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