27, 2003 02:09 PDT
the ENTS list server,
Just a comment regarding big trees. I notice that what seems to
count the most to many people is the size of the tree. If it's
the biggest one of a species in some area, it gets noted.
Certainly big trees should be noted since there are so few of
However, many trees which are not in the giant category have
great beauty or something about them that makes them
fascinating- their unusual shape or unusual color, or a large
hollow where some little creatures are living, or something
about the way that tree fits into its immediate environment.
It would be nice to keep tract of such trees too. We can always
grow more big trees- that's easy, but we can't always reproduce
the conditions that grow really fascinating trees.
I recently found a book in a local library which shows trees
from around the world which happen to be extremely massive and
fascinating. All you tree freaks really need to see this book-
it's called, "Remarkable Trees of the World" by Thomas
Josef Rasputin Zorzinovich
It's not only the size that counts
27, 2003 06:28 PDT
I suspect that all of us on this list agree
with you on your observations.
My data base currently includes 1921 laser-measured trees. So
there are plenty
that have been included because they captured my fancy for
reasons other the
size. There is also plot-based data in the database where every
tree in the
plot is included. However, picking up on your drift, we could
internet digital image contest for the most unusual trees. That
would give Ed
Frank some more grist for the website. It certainly would send
us all down a
different, artistically oriented path. Everyone able to get a
photo scanned in
to create a digital file would have a shot instead of only the
high priests of
measuring. Yes, by golly, the idea sounds better and better. An
contest for the most unusual and adorable trees. Heck, Joe,
you're a dandy
photographer. You'd do well in the contest.
Incidentally, small is also good. I
dearly love those quaint little dwarf
pitch pines on the top of Mount Everett. Yes, bonsai is
beautiful, baby and the
gnarlier the better....
04, 2003 03:47 PDT
OK, I sure dig giant trees. I've hiked in the redwoods.
I recently started a thread about "It's not the size that
How about going to the other extreme?
What about bonsai?
Now, I bet the bonsai freaks have a list where they rave about
tree they saw the other day.
"Oh, wow, I saw this bonsai pine and it was only 3"
tall and a quarter
inch DBH and it's 450 years old!" An award winner for our
database, for sure!
All humor aside, tongue back in check, I do recall, early in the
going to the Smithsonian botanical garden and seeing the
Imperial Bonsai Collection". I'm not sure if it was on loan
Japanese Empire, or if its part of the permanent collection. It
an entire greenhouse and was very mind blowing.
Of course Americans like big things, like big houses, big trees,
muscles (like the next gov. of CA), big paychecks, gigantic SUVs-
Japan is a small country with small people who have made an art
Although big is fine, our worshipping of the big stuff could be
a cultural item. America is the big Empire with people who often
bit too big for their own health. Big trees are rare because we
society that worships all that material stuff so it must waste
landscape to do so, even if it means wasting those beautiful big
We might as well get used to small trees, since that's about all
going to see in most places thanks to the deep thinkers that
Maybe the East Asians are just way ahead of us on this issue of
trees- as they are in many other cultural ways.
big or little?
04, 2003 05:06 PDT
Interesting cultural commentary. The small is
beautiful counterbalance to the big tree mania has its place.
The bonsai forms satisfy my artistic appetite while the big
trees function more as symbols of a colonial and pre-settlement
past when there was more space free of human traffic. That is
one reason I dearly loved the western United States when I lived
there - space and plenty of it.
But with respect to big trees, surprisingly,
if you know where to look, Massachusetts has an abundance of
big, though not giant, trees. For example, the 140.9-foot tall,
14.1-around white pine in the Conway, MA graveyard. Nothing
slouchy about that tree, yet most people drive by it without
consciously recognizing it for either what it is or what it
represents. It is a sign of the times. People are very
disconnected from these large life forms that they can whiz
What is especially interesting is how folks
who work with trees in one way or another are almost as
insensitive to our big trees as those who are completely tuned
out. I guess it is the way our brain compartmentalize the sounds
and images it interprets. A graveyard tree is decoration in a
particular setting - not to be fussed over with all the
tombstones around marking locations of the deceased. When I walk
among the graves on the way to a big tree in a cemetary, I try
to stay in a reverant state of mind, respectfully acknowledging
the lives and times of those souls buried around me. I sometimes
pause and simple nod my head in respect and mutter a simple
prayer. I then change my focus the large looming lifeform and
pay it the respect that it deserves in the way I commune with
trees - to record their dimensions.
big or little?
04, 2003 05:53 PDT
Wow, how did a former corporate and military type guy get so
Those corporations and the Pentagon must have been sorry when
or, maybe, they don't want people with such a groovy attitude
things that are really important. I just can't imagine you with
correct Pentagon killer instinct. I only wish the top dogs who
forestry world could think on your level. I may be wrong, and it
inappropriate for me to say so, but I suspect your marriage to a
American woman may have helped broaden your perspective of
Regarding trees in cemetaries, I agree- they do add much. This
me of one small cemetary in October Mt. State Forest I've been
to relocate, after about 20 years, now that I have a
quality camera. It's only about 25' square, surrounded by stone
And, the land around it is a norway spruce plantation. The
time I saw it, were so big as to almost close their canopies
cemetary, dropping their needles for decades and filling the
between the gravestones with those needles. I remember walking
sensing a great quite, because those norway spruce plantations
dense- they really cut the sound. So, it was very quite and very
be standing on a thick bed of spruce needles, looking at those
stones. I drove up there once looking for it and couldn't find
have to try again soon. I wouldn't be surprised the state cut
around the cemetary, not having the wisdom to leave a huge
the cemetary. If I can find it again, and the state hasn't
ambience, I'll photograph it and shown the images here.