Double Trunk Measure >> What If ?

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mdvaden
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Double Trunk Measure >> What If ?

Post by mdvaden » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:22 pm

This is an Oregon tree, but I'd like to present this as a general discussion question because it could pertain to anything found in WA, CA or elsewhere. I'd like to nominate the pine ... attached. American Forests does not have a slot yet for Pinus ponderosa var: willamettensis, but the Oregon Big Tree Registry / Ascending the Giants are making allowance. They also shared that nobody has nominated any yet. I'd like to get the ball rolling with this one.

The what if thing ... is the trunk ...

The divide between the two main stems is lower on the reverse side. They are clearly merged on this side, with NO included bark, up to at least 5 feet from the ground. The woman is 5 ft. & 5 in. tall.

For height, high and low grade are averaged. But it seems doubtful the same approach is done for where trunks merge.

This tree is 133 feet high, 16 feet & 3 inches circumference, and approximately 40 feet average crown spread judging by Google Earth.

133 + 195 + 10 = 338 points

If the the final division of trunks above 5 feet qualifies, this is the number for the tree. Would also want others to confirm the type of tree. Pondy for sure, likely indigenous to the area, but just in case.

Also curious how many variations of complications or variations others may have encountered with multiple stems, and if you have some nice photos to share.
Attachments
Pondy_600_C.jpg
Pondy_600_B.jpg
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Don
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Re: Double Trunk Measure >> What If ?

Post by Don » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:38 pm

Mario-
Many of us at NTS adhere to Will Blozan's Measurement Guide, which employs a "pith line" to determine whether what you have is a single or a multiple.
As an exercise, take your image and put it into a Powerpoint presentation page. Go to the Insert line, and select the next to the last symbol, which allows you to 'bend' a line by successive mouse clicks, as you move the cursor to follow the pith line down (halfway between left side and right sides of both 'stems'...if they meet above the ground line, they are one tree with two stems and gets measured at the narrowest point below the fork...if they meet at or below the groundline, it's two trees and would get measured as such, at 4.5'.
I just did it on the screen here, and it looks close.
-Don
PS:Have to ask, do you want a questionable champ?
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
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mdvaden
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Re: Double Trunk Measure >> What If ?

Post by mdvaden » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:51 pm

Don wrote: PS:Have to ask, do you want a questionable champ?
Actually, that's exactly what I'm hoping for.

I'd like an article to cover the men measuring this, and have readers or viewers exclaim "ain't no way that's the biggest ... I've got a hoooooger one out here on my farm in North Plains" (Hillsboro, Etc..)

The nomination is more intended to fuel the fire to get people looking for the the real champion in this region.

:-)

There's also another angle to this. This grove of Ponderosa in Beaverton is very nice, but constantly trampled. A couple of trees were lost the past couple of years. And although it's not feasible to protect earth beneath all of them, it would be nice if one with some attractive decorative fencing to showcase and protect the root zone.
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mdvaden
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Re: Double Trunk Measure >> What If ?

Post by mdvaden » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:05 pm

Here's a photo taken in 2011 on a clear day.
Attachments
Pondy_600_D.jpg
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edfrank
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Re: Double Trunk Measure >> What If ?

Post by edfrank » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:22 pm

Mario,

You know what I say. This is a double tree and should not be compared as a champion tree with those trees with a single trunk because it is a different growth form. If the lines scrunch together just above ground level, chances are they really are separate at ground level and are two trunks.

Ed
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mdvaden
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Re: Double Trunk Measure >> What If ?

Post by mdvaden » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:32 pm

edfrank wrote:Mario,

You know what I say. This is a double tree and should not be compared as a champion tree with those trees with a single trunk because it is a different growth form. If the lines scrunch together just above ground level, chances are they really are separate at ground level and are two trunks.

Ed

The first photo has some indicative evidence that it germinated from a single seed ...

It's the big flare in the trunk dead-center protruding toward the camera position behind the woman. Often in twin trees, that area is suppressed, indented or just evenly curved.

So I'd give it 98% odds of being a single tree. My guess, is that a single tree broke or developed 2 stems when it was a few feet tall, and the growth rings in each main stem are probably thinner toward the center ... thinner toward the outside.
Attachments
Pondy_600_E.jpg
M. D. Vaden of Oregon = http://www.mdvaden.com

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

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mdvaden
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Re: Double Trunk Measure >> What If ?

Post by mdvaden » Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:00 am

The Ponderosa in the OP, reminds me of this pine that I topped-out a fully girdled mainstem from quite a few years ago at a local motel. The healthy limbs beneath the cut curved upright and became new trunks.

NOTE !

Word of caution about the "pith" line theory. In trees like the pine attached below, the pith will be seriously offset toward the inside of the tree. Encountered similar on other trees, including a big Deodar Cedar we had to remove at our place near power lines. The growth rings toward the inside were barely 1/16 inch ... and the outer rings were upwards of 1/2 inch.

It's an easy rut to fall into, to assume and approach multiple trunks as if the pith should be in the center. Not always so. And odds are, the older, taller and more developed, the more off-center the pith may be.

...
Attachments
Pondy_600_F.jpg
M. D. Vaden of Oregon = http://www.mdvaden.com

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

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mdvaden
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Re: Double Trunk Measure >> What If ?

Post by mdvaden » Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:23 am

Here's a Flowering Plum I dissected once. Even though it's young, even this small amount of age and rings shows how flawed a pith approach can be ... that is if we treat it as going dead-center. There's enough room for error trying to guess about pith, it may be something to avoid as a main point of arbitration.

It's guessing in the first place even if the pith were dead center. Second ... on an older tree, the pith is most likely offset.

I copied and pasted the arrows so they would be the same length. With the yellow, there's more than twice the diameter outside the pith. The green not quite so dramatic, but still proportionately out of whack.

...
Attachments
Pith_Example_600.jpg
M. D. Vaden of Oregon = http://www.mdvaden.com

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

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Don
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Re: Double Trunk Measure >> What If ?

Post by Don » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:19 am

Mario
I also have similar images I could attach that support your suggestion...I've also severed thousands of trees of many species either in a work context or for firewood, and have noted over the years how eccentric (off-center) the pith can be...I try to incorporate such considerations in my judgement (such as at forks, hardwoods will tend to have reaction wood on upper side, and yes, soft woods react differently to stress, like growing right next to another seedling/sapling/bole, such as your ponderosa pine. That said, I am still comfortable with your judgement, especially with your explanations based on a wealth of past experiences.
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

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View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
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Will Blozan
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Re: Double Trunk Measure >> What If ?

Post by Will Blozan » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:55 am

Mario,

Regarding your quote below... I entirely disagree based on the photo. The ridge and protrusion you are referring to indicate "abnormal" growth due to the impact and inclusion/fusion of the growing wood from TWO stems. I would call this tree a fusion of two stems.

Will
The first photo has some indicative evidence that it germinated from a single seed ...

It's the big flare in the trunk dead-center protruding toward the camera position behind the woman. Often in twin trees, that area is suppressed, indented or just evenly curved.

So I'd give it 98% odds of being a single tree. My guess, is that a single tree broke or developed 2 stems when it was a few feet tall, and the growth rings in each main stem are probably thinner toward the center ... thinner toward the outside.

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