Hoh Rainforest

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ElijahW
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Hoh Rainforest

Post by ElijahW » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:42 pm

NTS,

Last week, while visiting my sister and her family in Washington, my youngest brother and I spent a day exploring (mostly by car) the Olympic Peninsula. The highlight of the day, by far, was the side-trip to the famous Hoh Rainforest. Not having walked in any Pacific Northwest forest, I was curious to see if I could handle the magnitude of being among some of the most magnificent trees on the planet. Of course I did survive the excitement, but I’m sure my heart skipped a beat when the first tree measured, a Sitka Spruce, registered 250.4’ on the screen of my 200X.

I figured I’d share my experience on the BBS, in case anyone’s interested. A couple of preliminary notes: I did not use a tripod with my laser, so all height measurements should be interpreted as “not less than;” also I didn’t carry a tape with me, so no circumference nor diameter measurements were taken (many trees were too big for the 20’ tape anyway). This in no way should be viewed as a thorough survey, and I don’t think I’m breaking any new ground with this report. On to the trees:
Hoh River (my brother’s in the foreground)
Hoh River (my brother’s in the foreground)
Big Dougs in a line
Big Dougs in a line
An open canopy in this spot makes for easy measuring
An open canopy in this spot makes for easy measuring
Trees Measured:

Douglas-fir

285’
276’
269’
264’
255’
240’

Sitka Spruce

259’
256’
250’
248’

Western Hemlock

220’
208’

Western Redcedar

166’

Black Cottonwood

159’

Big Leaf Maple

103’

Red Alder

99’

Rucker 5 Index: 217.8’

A couple of additional thoughts on The Hoh:

1. Most species identification has to be done through the bark and overall form, though the only conifers that look similar are the Douglas-firs and Hemlocks.

2. Without a large compliment of deciduous trees, the forest seems much less diverse in species makeup than those in the east (I’m not complaining, just observing).

3. While my eyes were still proficient in picking out the tallest trees, after a certain height (maybe 200’ or so) additional height seems almost superfluous. Now I’m really curious about how seeing the Coast Redwoods up close will affect me.

4. Wow, It’s beautiful.

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Hoh Rainforest

Post by Larry Tucei » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:52 am

Elijah- Awesome! I have yet to be in that part of the Country and can't wait to get out there someday! Larry

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Lucas
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Re: Hoh Rainforest

Post by Lucas » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:26 am

The Hoh always has been a legend to me for its steelhead, great name and intact natural state in the headwaters.
We travel the Milky way together, trees and men. - John Muir

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mdvaden
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Re: Hoh Rainforest

Post by mdvaden » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:39 pm

ElijahW wrote: ... SNIP ...
2. Without a large compliment of deciduous trees, the forest seems much less diverse in species makeup than those in the east (I’m not complaining, just observing).

3. While my eyes were still proficient in picking out the tallest trees, after a certain height (maybe 200’ or so) additional height seems almost superfluous. Now I’m really curious about how seeing the Coast Redwoods up close will affect me.

4. Wow, It’s beautiful.

Elijah
It's not highly diverse. There should also be western redcedar, grand fir, vine maple, dogwood maybe, and a few other odds and ends.

That entire park is huge. Several lifetimes of exploring.
M. D. Vaden of Oregon = http://www.mdvaden.com

200 Pages - Coast Redwoods - http://www.mdvaden.com/grove_of_titans.shtml

Portraits & Weddings - http://www.vadenphotography.com

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KoutaR
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Re: Hoh Rainforest

Post by KoutaR » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:04 am

I have read there are about 25 tree species in the entire park. Source:
http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3 ... 5200156773

Kouta

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ElijahW
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Re: Hoh Rainforest

Post by ElijahW » Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:41 pm

mdvaden wrote:
ElijahW wrote: ... SNIP ...

It's not highly diverse. There should also be western redcedar, grand fir, vine maple, dogwood maybe, and a few other odds and ends.

That entire park is huge. Several lifetimes of exploring.
Hey Mario,

We didn’t go beyond the short trails near the parking lot (maybe three miles or so of walking). If I had a whole day or perhaps multiple days, I definitely would have explored further upriver and into the higher elevations.

Have you seen the area around Quinault Lake? Parts of the forest there looked as good or better than The Hoh. We only stopped for a few minutes, but I found a Douglas-Fir just short of 290’ and a Redcedar that was 196’ (with a dead top).

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks

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KoutaR
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Re: Hoh Rainforest

Post by KoutaR » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:46 pm

This is off-topic, sorry, but may be interesting to some members. The article, I linked, gives tree species numbers for many areas in temperate and subtropical climates:

Big Thicket, Texas (34 km2): 73
Congaree,SC (89 km2): 80
Francis Beidler Forest, SC (24 km2): 68
Great Smoky Mtns (2000 km2): 107
Huron Mtn, Michigan (32 km2): 29
San Felasco Hammock, Florida (26 km2): 73
Tionesta, PA (17 km2): 41
Olympic Peninsula (3600 km2): 25
Mt. Rainier NP (1000 km2): 31
Redwood NP (433 km2): 35
South Warner Wilderness, California (286 km2): 13
Bialowieza, Belorussia&Poland (1000 km2): 25
Beihuashang-Xiaollongmen Forest, Beijing Shi (17 km2): 64
Jigong Mtn, Henan (30 km2): 190
Lichuan Xian, Hubei (800 km2): 217
Sonshang Forest, Hebei (47 km2): 62
Taihang Mtns, Shanxi (7200 km2): 93
Mt. Seolag, S. Korea (350 km2): 104
Bukhansan NP, S. Korea (80 km2): 82
Seonunsan, Prov. P., S. Korea (45 km2): 70
Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyushu (4963 km2): 203
Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu (7401 km2): 217
Nagasaki Prefecture, Kyushu (4088 km2): 216
Saga Prefecture, Kyushu (2439 km2): 186
Kochi Prefecture, Shikoku (7104 km2): 226
Yamaguchi Prefecture, Honshu (6109 km2): 208
Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica (6000 km2): 433

Bialowieza is the only European area in the list but it is not representative as it is close to the boreal-temperate transition. Some of the highest species numbers, I am aware of, is for Central Balkan National Park, Bulgaria (720 km2): more than 50 tree species (maybe 55-60). It is my own count from various published sources.

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ElijahW
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Re: Hoh Rainforest

Post by ElijahW » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:03 pm

Kouta,

Thanks for putting this list together. I guess that a chart of living things other than trees would show a similar pattern of worldwide distribution?

The tree-height listing I keep currently contains 199 species, but only 88 are native to NY State.

Is Western Redcedar planted much in Europe? Most western US conifers seem to do exceedingly well over there; would that include the giant cedar?

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks

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KoutaR
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Re: Hoh Rainforest

Post by KoutaR » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:19 am

Elijah,

The general pattern (north -> south = species-poor -> species-rich) probably applies to most groups of living things, though there exceptions like grasses. Between continents, the same pattern does not correspond always. For example, eastern NA has two times more tree species than Europe but in the lower plants the numbers are about the same. According to a recent paper (Faurby, S. & Svenning, J.-C. (2015): Historic and prehistoric human-driven extinctions have reshaped global mammal diversity patterns. Diversity and Distributions 21, 1155-66), the richness of large mammals was originally the greatest in North and South America, before the human caused extinctions. The original richness only remains in Africa, the cradle of human beings. In the other continents, the colonizing humans caused mass extinctions, particularly in the Americas.

Yes, western redcedar is often planted in Central and western Europe. Not as forest tree but in gardens and parks. It is even more common than usually thought as it is often missnamed as northern whitecedar (T. occidentalis). The tallest western redcedar in Europe is 48.40 m and growing in Ireland.
https://www.monumentaltrees.com/en/irl/ ... ens/17730/

Kouta

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KoutaR
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Re: Hoh Rainforest

Post by KoutaR » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:41 am

The last area in the list (in Costa Rica) does naturally not have temperate or subtropical but tropical climate. The list is directly from the paper I linked. I don't know why Costa Rica is in the list.

Kouta

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