The 3-D Full-Spectrum Laser Climbometer   Pamela Briggs
  Feb 07, 2006 15:22 PST 

(This post is subtitled, "He Had To Ask.")

Bob, I'm glad to give you the specs for the 3-D Full-Spectrum Laser
Climbometer. It's a wondrous instrument, and will make the joyous
calling of tree measuring more pleasurable, exciting, and free of worry
than you dared imagine!

The Climbometer automatically measures the height of trees and treelike
shrubs with absolute accuracy -- in feet (to the nearest thou), in
meters (to the nearest micrometer), in bu (to the nearest hu), in ńěr
(to the nearest šusi) -- or in any measurement system you specify.
Choose from multiple language selections, and set the 3-DFSLC to display
the data, speak it, or both. It can also display in braille -- handy
for those furtive nighttime measurements on someone else's land.

It determines crown dimensions, trunk and branch circumference, overall
volume, mass (both with and without birds' nests, eggs, bats, pupae,
etc), bark-to-heartwood ratio, thickness of cambium, chemical
composition and anomalies, and a wealth of other quantifiable
information. It includes a gas chromatograph. It records date, time,
temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure. It can give an accurate
count of leaves, buds, fruits, and seeds, should you really be into that
kind of thing.

Naturally, these measurements vary not only with the seasons, but also
with each day's changing climate. Therefore, although the 3-DFSLC's
measurement is accurate and indisputable, you will still have good
reason to revisit your favorite trees anytime you wish -- for additional
readings on a particular date, say, or at a certain moon phase. It even
detects minute fluctuations in tectonic plates and alerts seismologists
if necessary.

The Climbometer records each tree's GPS location and conventional
geographical designation, and altitude/distance from mean sea level. It
identifies the tree with its Latin name, common local names, and any
honorary name you choose to give it. It displays its exact age, and
projects its probable lifespan based on the tree's health, percentage
and progression of disease and infestation, and the mood swings of the
area's deer, bears, beavers, and other fauna. It can also calm and
reassure bees, lure away mosquitoes, and placate dogs or other beasts
who might be unhappy with your proximity to a particular tree.

The 3-DFSLC will, of course, lead you to (and from) a particular tree
with its GPS capabilities. But it can also find a tree given the
vaguest directions, including "past the old brick factory, then after
you see the Motel 6 billboard, it's about five miles beyond the silo."

In its History Mode it can read a tree's rings, measure the storms and
droughts it's weathered, and give that tree's biography, in narrative
form or in columns of data. Also, when given any part of a tree -- be
it a fossilized impression of a leaf, a piece of paper, a hunk of amber,
or a chest of drawers -- it can identify the trees from which it came,
and when and where.

The 3-DFLSC can interpret the data in myriad ways. Of course, it keeps
a running log so any tree's measurements can be compared (to itself or
to other trees). You can see average, mean, and median figures at a
glance, and convert the information to a bar or pie graph in an instant.
It can even show you which trees in what locations are related to one

It can convert data to music which can be downloaded to hardware,
podcast, or printed out as a score. It can also covert data to colors
and shapes. A new branch of tree science is possible wherein people
will be able to identify a tree by hearing its song or viewing its
artistic representation.

Naturally, it can upload the data to personal computers and/or the
Internet, and format it in a variety of existing data sets such as HTML
tables and Excel files, while red-flagging any missing figures or

The Climbometer can help you assess tree knowledge in other ways. It
can catalog and label physical artifacts, such as leaves, bark, and
samples of soil and DNA, and act as archivist at home, office, or on the
road, fetching the samples on command.

You want the visual gestalt? No problem! The Climbometer takes clear
3-D hologrammatic images of the tree, and displays them at any size you
wish. You can delight your friends with a display of your finds right
in your living room -- so much more impressive than a video or slide
show! You can use tree holograms to dress the set during theatrical
performances (giving proper credit in the program, of course), and set
and strike them instantly without taxing your stage crew. Or you can
sleep underneath the virtual branches of any tree you wish in your own

The 3-DFLSC is smooth, attractive, lightweight, scratchproof,
shockproof, waterproof, and can withstand temperatures from absolute
zero to the core of the sun. It floats, and contains binoculars, a
magnifying glass, and an electron microscope. It also features a sturdy
light bulb which can be used to examine the delicate veining of a leaf,
or to signal a plane 30,000 feet above. Settings for its casing include
Neon Mode (for winter) and Camouflage Mode (for those woodsy quiet
times). It can be affixed to any surface, including bark and skin,
without damage. It comes when you call it, and with patience can be
taught to hover nearby

Having unobtrusively collected weight data from you and your traveling
companions, it can determine who can safely climb which trees, and which
branches are best avoided, and give its recommendations with the utmost
gentleness and discretion. In an emergency, it can contact the 911
service, relay vital medical information such as heart and respiration
rates, and even perform simple first aid. It will track and retrieve
lost members of your party, and can summon help with a piercing whistle.
It can locate potable water, start a campfire, and brew a lovely willow
bark tea.

It can diagnose various tree ills and suggest treatments. It can tell
you where trees can best be planted or replanted, and their likelihood
of survival. It's useful with felled trees, too -- it can evaluate the
tree's parts and suggest the best uses for them.

The Climbometer comes with a full complement of tree lore, mythology,
recipes, medicinal, and spiritual uses, and has a LiveUpdate function to
gather recently uncovered information. If you wish, as you and your
party relax during mealtime, the 3-DFSLC will scamper around and
interview the locals. It can coax oral history out of taciturn rural
folk like you wouldn't believe.

But wait! There's more! It can grade maple syrup before it's even been
produced. It can evaluate the coming fruit in the springtime. It can
tell which trees will have the best colors in autumn, and map and
narrate a fall foliage tour. If you haven't guessed by now, the
Climbometer's uses are as broad and varied as your imagination.

The 3-DFSLC is solar-powered, and its energy augmented by the Earth's
magnetic fields. Maintenance is simple, but vital to the performance of
the instrument. It merely requires you to be pure of heart, to respect
the natural world and its creatures, and thank each tree as you measure

As for itself, it is not averse to a gentle kiss on its dome each night,
and frankly, loves to be tucked in. Also, it's not a bad little
conversationalist, and appreciates being included in discussions.

If you need to lie to someone, be sure that the Climbometer is not
nearby! The more lies you tell around it, the less accurate its
information will be. (It is, however, designed to disregard news
broadcasts.) If it does catch you in a lie, it may take long and
heartfelt persuasion on your part to explain why the lie was necessary.

It's the instrument of your dreams. The longer you use it, the more you
won't know how you ever lived without it. Not available in stores.

Robert Leverett wrote:

   Okay, this is the second tinme you've mentioned it. I want one of
those full spectrum climbometers. No fair talking about a new measuring
gizmo without full details. It has all us Ents who obsess with our
measuring mission salivating, hopping around - our hearts all a flutter.

So, what's its functionality, lowest price, extras, etc.

   BTW, did you know that George Washington was a big tree afficianado
(sp?) Yep. When still a surveyor, he measured some extraordinary
sycamores. One was in I think the Ohio River valley. It was 44 feet and
some change around. The same treee was later measured by Andre Michaux
at about the same circumference.


Robert T. Leverett
Cofounder, Eastern Native Tree Society