Borneo II   Roman Dial
  Feb 07, 2007 23:02 PST 

Just back from Borneo where I met with Brett Mifsud and Tom Greenwood.
We surveyed many trees but because the ID is pretty tough without leaf
samples, we only recorded heights of trees that we climbed and are
certain of species.

I am back in Alaska now and busy with classes and chairing my
department. We climbed and measured 9 trees including taller S.
faguetiana in Tawau Hills Park (THP) and some other tall Shorea, Hopea,
and Koompassia specimens -- we also measured 3 other individuals > 80 m
but have a good id for just one of these unclimbed specimens.

Here is the current list of trees greater than 265 feet tall whose ID we
are reasonably certain of in THP:

1 S. faguetiana 290 feet     (88.33m) Gergassi Ridge
2 K. excelsa         281 feet    (85.76m) Mengaris Knob
3 S. argentifolia 278 feet    (84.85m) Gaharu Ridge
4 S. superba         277 feet    (84.41 m) Gergassi Ridge
5 Hopea nutans 272 feet    (82.82m) Gaharu Ridge
6 S. johorensis 270 feet    (82.39m) Coco-Park boundary
7 S. smithiana 270 feet    (82.27m) Coco-Park boundary
8 S. gibossa         266 feet    (81.1m) River Flats

These were all found in less than 2 square km. This rewrites the top 20
species of the world list -- one more trip and I think we'll have the
biggest Rucker for any watershed in the world.

None of these are conifers. They are all tropical hardwoods of the
family Dipterocarpaceae, except the Koompassia excelsa which is a Legume

Roman Dial

RE: Borneo II   Will Blozan
  Feb 08, 2007 06:18 PST 


Great to hear from you! Welcome back. Those trees sound awesome and are
rivaling BVP's Euch's for height! Do you think 300' is a possibility? Any
volume numbers on these or are they slender?

RE: Borneo II   Roman Dial
  Feb 08, 2007 21:23 PST 

We looked for a 300 footer, and still think there may be one there -- it
will just take some more looking.

These are very difficult forests because the trees are tall and there is
a lot of intervening foliage. Plus climbing them is pretty gnarly with
heat humidity ants and more. Plus tall!

The big Hopea was the fattest and we are thinking maybe 250 cubic meters
or so, but we did not have time for volume measures.

Re: Borneo II   Jess Riddle
  Feb 13, 2007 18:04 PST 

Absolutely fantastic. Both the heights and the diversity of large
trees is amazing.

Are any of these species deciduous? If so, I believe they would be
the tallest deciduous trees in the world.

Are we going to have a chance to read more about these incredible
forests in the future?

RE: Borneo II   Roman Dial
  Feb 14, 2007 11:40 PST 

Yes, Jess,

The Koompassia excelsa is drought-deciduous, losing all of its leaves at
once. It is a legume, as well. The 85.67 m height is currently the best
documented champion -- there are rumors of other heights, butthey are
porrly documented and no doubt not accurately measured. The 85.67 m
heigh was tape dropped from about one m below the highest point!