Tree Measurement Notation and the public

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#11)  Re: Tree Measurement Notation and the public

Postby Will Blozan » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:34 am

Don and NTS,

Here is the text of my original post- *gasp*- 11 years ago... Some numbers have changed such as max tuliptree height but the point is there.

I find myself with very limited time to respond to such an interesting
discussion. However, I want to present an idea I have discussed with Bob L.
in the past, and it is a system that reflects Paul's desire for a relative
score. It is also independent of units, but is variable as new maximums are
found and does not allow for inter-specific comparisons unless superimposed
upon an absolute maximum "base". Naturally, the system can only be applied
to ENTS measured trees, further limiting it's usefulness in the big tree
lists. Oh well, I will propose it anyway.

With an existing database (ENTS) a set of maximums of girth, height, and
spread are established. The maximums are given a rating of 100, which
represents 100% of the known maximum. For example, let's look at three big
tuliptrees; the Sag Branch tuliptree, the Mill Creek Monster, and the
Greenbriar Giant.

Known tuliptree maximums:
Max girth 24.25' =100 pts (Jess may have a larger one)
Max height 178.2' =100 pts
Max spread 113' =100 pts (maximum, not average- treated same
as height which we do not average for separate tops)

With the above numbers, a tree has the potential to have 300 points if it
contained all the maximum dimensions. Here is a comparison of three giants:

Tree Girth Height Spread Points
Sag Branch 91.7 94.3 100 286
Mill Creek 94.4 87.5 88.5 270.4
Greenbriar 100 87.5 85.5 276

How do these trees compare to the best we know of in the east (relative
bigness)?

ENTS maximum dimensions:
Girth 31.8' (Middleton Oak?)
Height 187' (Boogerman Pine)
Spread 154' (Maximum above ground- Cherrybark oak measured last week)

(Max spread estimated) Girth Height Spread Points
Sag Branch Tuliptree 70 89.8 73.3
233.1
Pinchot Sycamore 86.8 52.6 94.2
233.6
Sunderland Sycamore 81.8 61.8 99.4
243.0
Pine Plains Sycamore 75.5 57.8 94.2
227.5
Middleton Oak 100 34.8 87.7
222.5
Cherrybark oak 61.6 85.7 84.4
231.7
Cherrybark oak 62.9 72.2 100
235.1

This system gives much more equality with respect to differing tree forms.
It can be modified to compare within a species or within only conifers. The
Middleton oak, with its huge trunk and wide spread compares favorably to the
Sag Branch Tuliptree. The immensely huge Sunderland Sycamore scores high in
all measures, and justly so!

I believe this ranking system is called "hyper-volume" or something, and is
used in ecology to represent three variable niche fulfillment's of species
and habitats. I like it because it is independent of units and the above
numbers generally represent my visual ranking of the trees.

Naturally, as we discover new records the numbers will change slightly for
"saturated" species, and more quickly for less measured species (an active
database would be required to continually update the numbers). The relative
ranking for one or more variables may be useful for latitudinal analyses.
For example, the black birch (and birch family in general) may not change
more than 10 points over a huge latitudinal range, whereas white pine,
tuliptree and northern red oak will change by much more within the same
range. A graph of these relative numbers would be very interesting.

Anyway, there it is!


Will Blozan
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#12)  Re: Tree Measurement Notation and the public

Postby Don » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:12 pm

Well, with eleven years for such a concept to ruminate in your mind, my only but recent perusal will not likely yield unknown revelations, but here goes nothing!

1)I really like the 'relational' aspect of it.  It takes a lot out of the 'size beyond comprehension' of the "gobsmackers" !
2)I think I'd favor a 100 point final relational number, whether the result of reducing the final 300 possible point outcome, or starting with a 33.3 max per girth/height/spread category...
3)I see it as a valuable addition to any big tree database, and one relatively easy to "attach" to the national big tree database, but if, and only if, we can get it active, up to date, and reflecting accurate measurements.  With those constraints met, the "TDI" would be kept up to date, with each surge of additions to the national register database, and satisfy I'd think "your visual ranking", and that of most big tree hunters.  The constraints listed here are significant, but are primary goals for correction, and reasonably obtainable.
-Don (ever the optimist, huh?!)
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

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#13)  Re: Tree Measurement Notation and the public

Postby Erik Danielsen » Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:03 pm

It would be great if the eventual database we're working towards could be used to calculate TDL measurements for a large range of trees quickly. If, to be as optimistic as Don, TDL could ever supplant the current AF points system with its problematic girth-bias, we at NTS would have the database to evaluate nominations, adding another layer of oversight (in addition to the cadre) in ensuring that listed champions really are the trees that deserve it.

Thanks to everyone for their valuable feedback on the original topic, plenty to think about going forward.
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#14)  Re: Tree Measurement Notation and the public

Postby Don » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:53 am

Erik
I am afraid that I'm not so optimistic about TDL supplanting the current system, but I believe that it could be in addition to the AF Formula.
Don
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org
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