of Pinus strobus
03, 2006 07:32 PDT
I suspect we're close to detecting the pattern
with Pinus strobus,
although the genetic variability may provide a wider standard
with the species than with say Sequoia. At least that is what
gathered from comments made by Lee Frelich in the past.
My take on Pinus strobus is that 165 to 185
feet is it, except for a
few statistical outliers. That fits with what Gordon Whitney
in his research.
This past weekend, John Eichholz and I modeled
the Grandfather pine
in Dunbar Brook. You'll recall that it is the large pine up the
from the onw you, Will, and Ed climbed in 2004. John modeled the
and found a better compromise for mid-slope. He set the
dbh level at an even 14 feet. We will need to combine our
measurements, but the tree's trunk volume is very close to 1000
feet. With limb volume added, it will exceed 1000 cubes, if only
slightly. At this point my first calculation is 1007 cubes for
alone, but that may change.
The Dunbar tree, the Ice Glen pine, the
Tamworth pine in NH, the
Cornplanter pine in PA, the Seneca Pine, etc. all suggest that
Northeast, single-stemmed great whites would only occasionally
1000 cubes. Were they larger in Wisconsin and Michigan? I don't
Possibly so. Here, I'm speaking of single-trunked trees.
The next challenge will be to model the double
pines to see if they have more volume. I didn't have confidence
the RD 1000, especially in making close calls. I have the
using the Macroscope 25. It carries the needed accuracy to
width of the target. Modeling the overall shape with either the
or Macroscope 25 is very labor intensive, but with the
Macroscope it can
be done. April 8th is modeling day.
Very well spoken, my friend.
I think this situation applies to just about every species -
with a different height for each species. Once you have enough
data of high accuracy, these patterns emerge.
Our western trees are just the same. With Sequoia, we have 118
trees over 360 feet tall, and we only recently had one of the
break the 370 foot barrier. Some of these trees are widely
separated in both space and environment.
If you do not detect this pattern, Pinus strobus for example, it
simply means you do not have enough data or that the potential
pool has been reduced (through logging).
03, 2006 08:24 PDT
There is little doubt in my mind that Pinus
strobus exceeded 200 feet
historically, though probably not often. I think we can believe
occasional height even approaching 220 feet. However, the
from northern NH that suggest historical heights of 260 to 270
white pine are not credible in my estimation. In fact, I place
in these historical accounts. I'll leave it to Will Blozan and
agree with me on this or present a differing view. But, if the
numbers in the National Register of Big Trees are unreliable,
being off by 20 feet or more, and on occasion by over 50 feet,
would make historical, anecdotally related heights more
Additionally, as Lee Frelich has pointed out, the standards for
measuring in the 1800s and before were not up to snuff. An inch
the length of somebody's knuckle. A foot was just that -
foot, probably ranging from 9 to 13 inches by today's standards.
All this brings me to a point that I
periodically feel compelled
make, which is just to keep the record current for anyone who
our e-mails via the web. Obviously, list members are the choir.
taken little short of a crusade (poor choice of descriptor?) for
get serious tree measurers to abandon the percent slope method
our more accurate sin-sin method. The investment in equipment is
not significant, at least not any more. Yet a surprising number
otherwise serious tree measurers see the investment as
consequently, continue adding to the stream of badly mis-measured
and writers routinely report the mismeasurements. The bad
circulate endlessly. They truly have lives of their own.
Looking into the future, what might a big tree
enthusiast, let's say
writing a book on tall trees, choose as reliable sources of
Regrettably, he/she will continue to have an endless stream of
mis-measured trees to report on - without knowing that they were
mis-measured. After all, shouldn't the National Register be
In a nutshell, that is why our ENTS work is
With respect to the reported 200-foot tall white pine. In 1995,
Blozan and I measured the Boogerman Pine in the GSMNP to 207
was before its top was broken. It was parred back to 180. It is
187 feet tall. So the recovering capacity of the species is
As for the possibility of future 200-footers, I suspect that
processes are at work and the jury must remain sequestered for a
or more. For example, how will more atmospheric CO2 impact tree
over the next 50 to 100 years? If changing climate produces more
growth in some species, increased atmospheric ozone may kill the
growth faster than it is added. Where will the balance lie?
Barring injury, I will be mightily
surprised if the Jake Swamp white
pine in MTSF doesn't make it to 170 feet. But every bit of
there after will be considered a gift from heaven. Do I ever
see a 200-footer of any species at latitudes of 40 degrees or
north? Nope. Do I expect to see a 200-footer in that super tree
extending from South Carolina across to the Mississippi? I'm
optimistic that ENTS will sooner or later confirm a another
Species? White pine of course.