The tallest linden of Europe

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#1)  The tallest linden of Europe

Postby KoutaR » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:53 pm

NTS,

Here a story about how poorly we still know the maximum heights European trees are capable to attain.

In Hartenstein, Saxony, Germany, there is an large old linden tree called Rotmühlenlinde. A book states it is 44 meters (144 ft) tall and the species is large-leaved linden (Tilia platyphyllos). It would be the tallest European linden with a wide marginal.

Last summer, I drove there to measure the tree. It was only 30 meters (98 ft) tall and not large-leaved but small-leaved linden (T. cordata). After the measurement I drove away through the town, and after the town center I saw from my car a tall-looking linden tree in a small deciduous forest patch. I had no time to make an extra stop, but in August, I returned Hartenstein and measured the latter tree with a friend of mine (Christoph Hase, in the photo). The tree is a double trunked large-leaved linden, and it turned to be 38.6 meters (127 ft) tall, the tallest laser measured large-leaved linden with a marginal of 3.4 meters (11 ft), and the tallest of any European linden species with a marginal of 1.4 meters (4.6 ft). I have marked the highest point with an arrow in the photo below. The foliage in the foreground is of Norway maple (Acer platanoides).

The CBH of both trunks together is 5.27 m. There is a very narrow opening between the two trunks from the height of about 1 meter, and we managed to get my measuring tape between the trunks with great effort; the CBH of the taller trunk is 3.73 m. I measured the height with Nikon Laser 550A S.

               
                       
HartensteinTilia_platyphyllos_crown.jpg
                                       
               


               
                       
HartensteinTilia_platyphyllos_base.jpg
                                       
               


UPDATE NOVEMBER 2013:
The tallest reliably measured large-leaved linden is now 41.8 m tall:
http://www.monumentaltrees.com/en/fra/m ... eincastle/
The tallest reliably measured linden of Europea is now 46.5 m tall common linden (Tilia x europaea):
http://www.monumentaltrees.com/en/gbr/s ... ack/15434/

Kouta
Last edited by KoutaR on Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:25 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Jess Riddle, tsharp
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#2)  Re: The tallest linden of Europe

Postby eliahd24 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:02 pm

What a fantastic tree Kouta!
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#3)  Re: The tallest linden of Europe

Postby Lee Frelich » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:58 pm

Kouta:

30 m versus 44 m, and the wrong species--I guess misidentified and mismeasured trees are not unique to the big tree list in the U.S.

Even I would be able to tell the difference between T. cordata and T. platyphyllos, since those species are more common along streets in the city in Minneapolis than our native American basswood (T. americana).

Lee
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#4)  Re: The tallest linden of Europe

Postby KoutaR » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:31 pm

Lee,

Other poor measurements from the same book:

- Tilia platyphyllos 42 m - my measurement 28 m
- T. platyphyllos 42 m - my measurement 32 m

Both are really T. platyphyllos. The two species are easy to identify with leaves, but winter identification may be very difficult. Hybridization of the two species further complicates the identification. The hybrid, T. x europaea, is often planted and also occurs naturally. Some trees identified morphologically as T. platyphyllos are in reality hybrids.

There are two further native linden species in Europe: T. tomentosa in eastern Europe and T. dasystyla in Krym/Ukraine. Thus, Tilia is one of the few tree genera more diverse in Europe than in North America.

Kouta
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#5)  Re: The tallest linden of Europe

Postby Jeroen Philippona » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:13 am

Hi Kouta,

I suppose the old measurements in the book were by the late Prof. F.  He probably only estimated heights or did them with an old stick method. He was more interested in the beauty of old trees and concentrated on big solitarians. His heightmeasurements were more indications.
In the U.K. and Ireland the Tree Register reports several tall specimen of Tilia wich need to be verified with laser: a T. x europea of 46 m, one of 44 m, several of 41 and 40 m, a T. platyphyllos of 41.5 m in Ireland, measured in 2000 by Aubrey Fennell with Haga hypsometre, etc. None were measured with laser / Sine method.
The tallest Tilia x europea I measured in England this summer was at least 35 m, but I did not measure it very careful: the highest branches were difficult to measure while it was in full leaf in a forest.  
Another T. x europea was 34 m.

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