If you want to become part of this adventure, simply create a free account on our NTS BBS discussion board at http://www.ents-bbs.org and jump into the discussions. We also have a NTS Facebook page. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in trees living anywhere in the world.
New members might ask themselves what they can contribute to the NTS. Many of our members are not professional tree experts, arborists, or biologists. Our membership includes some of the top forestry people in the world, but we also have those who are writers, geologists, photographers, laborers artists, meteorologists, pharmacists, and musicians. Everyone has a different viewpoint and background. These differences enable us to look at the trees and forests in new ways and to better understanding of what we are finding. If the forests are not just to be considered the source of timber products, we need to find other ways to see them and evaluate them that are not based solely on their timber value. As our mission statement says, we are a group devoted to the documentation and celebration of trees and forests around the world, through art, poetry, music, mythology, science, medicine, and wood crafts.
A new member can join into the discussions posted on the BBS. Share your opinions, interests, and expertise on the topics being discussed. Start off by introducing yourself. Post again if you don't get a reply to your first post. Join the discussions. There are many things anyone can contribute without jumping immediately into super-measuring mode. I invite you to do so. You can post works of poetry, iambic pentameter, music, art, philosophy or other tree related materials to expand our horizons. Look at the range of topics presented in various forums and write something about what you know. Remembrances of the past are interesting and accounts of historical trees are good. A new member can contribute trip reports and site descriptions. Go visit a local park and write about the trip, the trees you find, and post it to the BBS list. A recent post by a member described three urban trees that were growing around buildings in his community. Anyone can do this. (Please remember to ask permission before measuring trees on private property.) You do not need to always measure something to make the reports worthwhile. Simply documenting many areas is a step forward.
About the NTS BBS
The NTS BBS board was created on March 7, 2010 to be a replacement for the Google Groups list: http://groups.google.com/group/entstrees?hl=en which had become unmanageable due to the large number of posts appearing. The NTS BBS board is divided into several broad categories and subdivided into topic specific forums. Please try to post under the appropriate sub-forum. Guests can view the posts on this forum without registering. Newly registered members have some limitations on their posting privileges to help prevent spamming of the list. New members can post to the "Post Here First" forum (near the bottom of the list without any restrictions. Posts by new members to other forums will at first be moderated before they are published. New members will have their status automatically changed to regular member after a set number of posts or otherwise by a list moderator. Regular members will have normal access to the list and posting privileges.
Instructions on the use of the BBS can be found here:
http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewforum.php?f=166 with more detailed
instructions posted here:
Photography and Video
Members are encouraged to include photographs or video clips with their trip reports and site descriptions. Photography is not only visually appealing, but is a valuable tool for documenting individual trees, sites, and activities. The basic instructions for embedding photos and attachments into a post can be found here: http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=166&t=34 Instructions on how to make the individual photos clickable, where a link is activated when the photo is clicked, can be found here: http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=166&t=2036 You can also link to remote photos hosted on free web services like weblinks http://www.weblinks.com or Flickr http://www.flickr.com/ using the BB Code tags. We would encourage, but not require, you to post images directly to the BBS itself, as these will not be lost if you change photo hosting services or exceed bandwidth allotments for viewing those images. Most video clips are simply too large to be uploaded to the BBS. They can be uploaded to Vimeo http://www.vimeo.com or Youtube http://www.youtube.com and embedded into a post using the BB code tags.
If you want to measure trees, first download our Tree Measuring Guideline of the Eastern Native Tree Society by Will Blozan and read them. You might also download and read the document The Really, Really Basics of Laser Rangefinder/Clinometer Tree Height Measurements by Edward Frank. If you don't want to jump into buying a full set of height measurement gear, you can start by measure tree girths. The instructions are on the website. You measure the circumference at breast-height at 4.5 feet by wrapping a tape around the tree. For $10 you can buy a 50 foot tape that should be able to measure the girth of most trees. Height measurements are made using a laser rangefinder and a clinometer. A good place to find these are used items on eBay. The best inexpensive laser rangefinder for tree measuring is a model that is no longer manufactured: Nikon Prostaff Laser 440 Rangefinder. These may often be purchased on eBay for around $100. For a clinometer we recommend getting either a Brunton model or a Suunto model to measure inclination. They must be able to read the inclination in degrees. For Suunto the model to look for is the Suunto PM-5 / 360 PC Clinometer. Both the Brunton and Suunto models can be purchased new for $130 - $150, or found on eBay in the $70-80 range. A final device that most members use is a GPS unit. These allow the location of a tree to be accurately documented for data analysis and for the tree to be relocated in the future.