Nanjiabawa Virgin Forest, Tibet

Trees and forests of continental Asia

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KoutaR
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Nanjiabawa Virgin Forest, Tibet

Post by KoutaR » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:56 am

NTS,

There is a nice documentary on "Nanjiabawa Virgin Forest" in youtube. The first part is here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0pQbfVGuvg

It is about a spruce forest (though much of the documentary shows animals on open meadows). The spruce species in question is likely Picea smithiana. According to the film, the biggest of them are 70 m (=230 ft) tall and 2 m thick. The forest is said to be the densest spruce forest in the world with 3000 m3/ha of timber. Indeed, if I use the medium density of Norway spruce (Picea abies) the stem biomass would be 1368 t/ha. It would be in the sixth position (and well before Sitka spruce forest) in my table of the most biomass-dense forest types in the world:
http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=144&t=4966

There is a document on the Internet (it appears to be a book text) according to which there is an old height record 250 ft = 76 m for Picea smithiana:
http://djvued.libs.uga.edu/text/6tgbitxt.txt
The record may be exaggerated but I am fairly sure that somewhere in the Himalayas and adjacent areas there are taller forests than in Europe (perhaps without Caucasus) and eastern NA.

The location of the Mount Nanjiabawa can be seen here:
http://www.mindat.org/maps.php?id=235214

Sahni's book "The Book of Indian Trees" gives 250 ft = 76 m as the max. height for deodar cedar (Cedrus deodara), too. See also this old painting of deodar cedar forest:
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O7625 ... frederick/

I am dreaming of a measuring trip to the Himalayas... Tibet is difficult as a special permission is needed for travelling there.

Check also other documentaries in the Forest China serie!

Kouta

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dbhguru
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Re: Nanjiabawa Virgin Forest, Tibet

Post by dbhguru » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:32 am

Kouta,

I salute your explorer spirit. One location that is seldom mentioned when talking about great forests of the world is the island of Taiwan. There are incredible forests on that island including trees 15 feet and more in diameter. It is my understanding that Steve Sillett and Bob Van Pelt are planing a trip there. Will has been invited to go with them. I was stationed on the island as a home base for two years when in the Air Force and can personally attest to the abundance of magnificent forests. There has been a growing tree awareness in Taiwan since my time there. I'm seeing photos on the Internet that call back memories of Ali Shan and the Buddha Tree. It was a Chamaesyparis formosensis. Here is a blurb from Wikipedia on it.
It is a slow-growing, but long-lived and ultimately large to very large coniferous tree growing to 55–60 m tall with a trunk up to 7 m in diameter. The bark is red-brown, vertically fissured and with a stringy texture. The foliage is arranged in flat sprays; adult leaves are scale-like, 1–3 mm long, with pointed tips, green both above and below with only an inconspicuous stomatal band at the base of each scale-leaf; they are arranged in opposite decussate pairs on the shoots. The juvenile leaves, found on young seedlings, are needle-like, 4–8 mm long, soft and glaucous bluish-green. The cones are ovoid-oblong, 6–12 mm long and 4–8 mm diameter, with 8–16 scales arranged in opposite pairs, maturing in autumn about 7–8 months after pollination.[2]
I saw a live one in a park one that was pushing 18 feet in diameter. Seven meters is probably too much for any standing trees, today, but there is evidence to support a few in that range in the past.

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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KoutaR
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Re: Nanjiabawa Virgin Forest, Tibet

Post by KoutaR » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:06 am

Bob,

I have read something about trees in Taiwan. In addition to C. formosensis, Taiwania cryptomerioides is said to grow to 65 m or even 80 m, depending on the source. It is great that they will eventually be accurately measured.

Do you have any (scanned) tree photos from your Taiwan time?

Kouta

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dbhguru
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Re: Nanjiabawa Virgin Forest, Tibet

Post by dbhguru » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:14 pm

Kouta,

Yes, I have a CD loaded with Taiwan images, courtesy of Will who scanned them for me. Can't locate the CD. If I find it, there will be postings aplenty. Taiwan has spectacular scenery with peaks up to just under 4,000 meters. Yu Shan is the highest. I climbed it in 1970.

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

greenent22
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Re: Nanjiabawa Virgin Forest, Tibet

Post by greenent22 » Tue May 13, 2014 12:44 am

dbhguru wrote:Kouta,

I salute your explorer spirit. One location that is seldom mentioned when talking about great forests of the world is the island of Taiwan. There are incredible forests on that island including trees 15 feet and more in diameter. It is my understanding that Steve Sillett and Bob Van Pelt are planing a trip there. Will has been invited to go with them. I was stationed on the island as a home base for two years when in the Air Force and can personally attest to the abundance of magnificent forests. There has been a growing tree awareness in Taiwan since my time there. I'm seeing photos on the Internet that call back memories of Ali Shan and the Buddha Tree. It was a Chamaesyparis formosensis. Here is a blurb from Wikipedia on it.
It is a slow-growing, but long-lived and ultimately large to very large coniferous tree growing to 55–60 m tall with a trunk up to 7 m in diameter. The bark is red-brown, vertically fissured and with a stringy texture. The foliage is arranged in flat sprays; adult leaves are scale-like, 1–3 mm long, with pointed tips, green both above and below with only an inconspicuous stomatal band at the base of each scale-leaf; they are arranged in opposite decussate pairs on the shoots. The juvenile leaves, found on young seedlings, are needle-like, 4–8 mm long, soft and glaucous bluish-green. The cones are ovoid-oblong, 6–12 mm long and 4–8 mm diameter, with 8–16 scales arranged in opposite pairs, maturing in autumn about 7–8 months after pollination.[2]
I saw a live one in a park one that was pushing 18 feet in diameter. Seven meters is probably too much for any standing trees, today, but there is evidence to support a few in that range in the past.

Bob
Wow that is unbelievable!

I'd have thought Taiwan would've been unlikely.

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dbhguru
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Re: Nanjiabawa Virgin Forest, Tibet

Post by dbhguru » Wed May 14, 2014 5:14 pm

Taiwan's forests, what's left of them, are incredible. The island averages 98 inches of precipitation annually. So, there is plenty of moisture. Two thirds of the island is very mountainous and rugged.

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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