Surprises in Tree Measuring   Robert Leverett
  Sep 20, 2005 12:44 PDT 

   In off-list emails, Ed Frank, John Eichholz, myself, and others are
involved in a detailed review of basic tree measuring concepts and
definitions. Our numerically driven discussion is the kind that can
drive non-quantitative folks bonkers. But alas, it's a dirty job and
someone has to do it.

   A word about the philosophical underpinnings of our obsession. We're
no different than other people who are intense about their interests. We
want to do the job right regardless of who else is involved in tree
measuring and for what reasons and along the way we expect to improve
existing measurement methodologies, develop new ones, and make some neat
discoveries. It is all part of our passion.

    From time to time, I stop to reflect on what we are discovering or
confirming in ENTS that I didn't previously know. For me, its often
patterns of species development. At other times, it's single numbers. I
would be curious as to the lists that others might have in terms of what
has surprised them most. Anyone care to share his/her biggest numerical
surprises with the rest of us? Non-numerical surprises? For example, one
of the biggest ones for me was the volume of the Middleton Oak as
determined by BVP. Another was Michael Davie's incredible 167-foot
pignut hickory in Asheville, NC. A third is the cluster of super white
pines in northern Georgia that Will and Jess found. A fourth is that PA
has 140-foot hemlocks and Massachusetts doesn't. A fifth is that the
white ash is the tallest Massachusetts hardwood. A sixth is the reversed
roles played by hemlock versus white pine going from North to South. In
northern latitudes, the white pine appears to be the bulkier of the two
species, often by a substantial margin. That relationship is reversed in
the southern Appalachians. I could go on. Dale, has this stimulated your
thinking about your biggest surprises?