Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Native Tree Society Tree Measuring Guidelines and related materials.

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

User avatar
Don
Posts: 1560
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:42 am

Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Post by Don » Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:14 pm

Mario/Will-
Wished I hadn't let this thread lapse for so long...I too found it mind-engaging, and am currently getting ready to endorse the use of pith delineation as the currently best non-destructive means of establishing some sort of sense and direction into the single- versus multi-stem issue.

Your examples were great, and I hope as your work displays good examples of how pith location relates to external bole shape, that you can take digital images of them.

In support of your images, I have dug into my own background and recalled classes in Wood Science and Technology, Stem Analysis (at Humboldt State University, Arcata, California); and Bruce Hoadley's book "Understanding Wood: A craftman's guide to wood technology" at UMASS. Phrases such as juvenile wood, compression wood, tension wood have all come back to me and provide insight in guessing where the pith line might be. I say "guess" and "might", because only by destructive sampling (such as is done in Stem Analysis) can one be replicably sure. But I think we all agree that our best guesses are a darn site more accurate way of determining a single-stem tree from multi-stemmed trees.

In support of our work (Bob and I) in the American Forests' Measuring Guide Working group, can we assume we have your (and others in NTS, ENTS, WNTS, EuroNTS) support in the following assumption:
Given separate pith lines emerging at what appears to have been/appears to be current ground line, you have two separate trees, regardless of their species, regardless of their fusion from proximity, regardless of the subsequent extrusion from that proximity fusion, and regardless of the bark that over time covers/confuses the origin?
Yes, I realize that is a pretty 'exclusive' definition. I also think it's a good place to start a discussion.
Realize guys, Bob and I are getting down to the wire for submission of our draft. If you wish to offer input, on this and other topics, now is the time!
Thanks for your continued interest and input over the last year, you've been great!
-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

User avatar
edfrank
Posts: 4217
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:46 pm

Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Post by edfrank » Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:40 pm

Don,

Sounds good to me. I appreciate the work you and Bob have done regardless of the eventual outcome of the Tree Measuring Group decisions on the final criteria.

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

User avatar
Bart Bouricius
Posts: 562
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:41 am

Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Post by Bart Bouricius » Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:49 pm

One more addition which I wasted some time on: Regardless of genetic similarity (even clones are not genetically identical for a number of reasons, though many assume they are). Presumably you would not get an argument on this, but a grove of aspens is not one tree even though they have similar DNA and may be connected to each other.

User avatar
Don
Posts: 1560
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:42 am

Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Post by Don » Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:50 am

Bart-
I suspect we have lots that we agree on. I think the clonal relationship that exists between aspens is fascinating, but only at that level. I have been struggling enough with the relationship between two or more attached trees above ground, to let the aspen clone issue go.
Because of the following paragraph, I've come to appreciate the occasional view of single-tree and multiple-tree cross-sections, even if they are inevitably the result of "destructive sampling". At the end of this post, I'll see if I can insert an image recently captured from Ed Franks NTS/Facebook page [at: What do you think of this art?
Woodcut: A Meditation on Time Through the Inked Cross-Sections of Fallen Trees. More images - http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/ ... nash-gill/
].
I've come to view "a" tree consisting of a root system going down from the seed, and an apical meristem going up from there (that zone often referred to as the root collar). As the meristem completes its vertical growth year, each successive (generally) annual increment of lateral xylem growth forms a concentric annual ring. With the subsequent addition of meristematic growth, the previous meristem dies and becomes pith. "A" single tree has a single set of concentric annual rings that started up from a single seed.
All the issues of measuring trees, whether single- or multi-stemmed, start from the relationship of where their seed source was, and the height of their pith line branching above that.
Recognizing who I am blogging with, I have to hurriedly add, the above rambling is limited to what we in most of North America might refer to as 'standard form'. Your tropical variants to standard form are mind-boggling!
All that said, I was pleased to see the inkblock print of the cross-section above, with my mind piecing together the involuted 3D trunk, and 'retrospectively' trying to imagine what I'd have thought was going on inside...getting late, rambling, signing off!
Single-stem Crossection
Single-stem Crossection
WoodcutInkedCrossSection.jpg (25.99 KiB) Viewed 1994 times
-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

lalacurf121
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:14 am

Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Post by lalacurf121 » Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:43 am

What you offer, then it is so cool.
วิธีแทงบอล

User avatar
mdvaden
Posts: 881
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:30 pm

Re: Single-stem or Multi-stem?

Post by mdvaden » Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:12 am

Over a year ago, I posted on my Howland Hill Giant page that I suspected some possible fusion in that redwood. At the time, I figured maybe an extra stem gave it an extra few percent.

Found out that Howland HIll Giant is more like a 40/60 or 50/50 combination from centuries back. The two original trunks were on the north and south.

Lighting in the forest was optimum on several sides when I stopped this month. And it's sign language of characteristics were lit nicely to show it's story. It was also an opportunity to teach someone in the moment how trees grow and form.
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

Post Reply

Return to “Tree Measuring Guidelines”