LiDAR search reveals tallest pine tree on Earth

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M.W.Taylor
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LiDAR search reveals tallest pine tree on Earth

Post by M.W.Taylor » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:32 am

The sugar pine has been dethroned yet again, by another ponderosa. This time in California's Sierra Nevada. Nearby this tree is another ponderosa pine that stands 265.4 feet. Both measurements are tripod mounted Trupulse200x with tripod mounted prism pole and Zane Moore helping me with the measurement. I first found the tall one using LiDAR and then confirmed the species using Google Earth. Then I went there with Zane and measured from the ground 2 days later.. My search from living room indicated this tall ponderosa was 83.7 meters so it was very close to the actual ground measurement.

This tree has that WOW! factor.

It is extremely high to first branch. The crown is broad with huge branches. Its top is not whippy like most tall ponderosa, but instead stalwart, with a good supporting base.

California's Tallest pines:

Ponderosa Pine
274.55 ft (83.68m) Sierra Nevada
265.44 ft Sierra Nevada
260.0 ft Trinity Alps - Hand held preliminary measurement


Sugar Pine
273.74 ft Sierra Nevada
266.5 ft Sierra Nevada - Hand held preliminary measurement
264.0 ft Sierra Nevada - Hand held preliminary measurement





Michael Taylor
WNTS VP
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Side view of LiDAR point cloud.    White - 80m     Red - 70m    Yellow - 60m        Green - 50m
Side view of LiDAR point cloud. White - 80m Red - 70m Yellow - 60m Green - 50m
height banding 70m is red and white is 80m (yellow 60m and green 50m)
height banding 70m is red and white is 80m (yellow 60m and green 50m)
Super Tree !
Super Tree !
Last edited by M.W.Taylor on Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:51 am, edited 16 times in total.

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ElijahW
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Re: Pinus Wars LiDAR search reveals tallest pine tree on Ea

Post by ElijahW » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:51 pm

Congratulations, Michael. I look forward to seeing the photos.

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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Re: Pinus Wars LiDAR search reveals tallest pine tree on Ea

Post by mdvaden » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:43 pm

Michael ...

With several pines this tall now, it may be a worthwhile endeavor to remeasure the pines west of Grants Pass, plus these others you've measured in California to keep track of their growth rates. If not yearly, maybe bi-yearly or tri-yearly to see if one region favors faster growth, decline, etc..

Thanks for the update.
M. D. Vaden of Oregon = http://www.mdvaden.com

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M.W.Taylor
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Re: Pinus Wars LiDAR search reveals tallest pine tree on Ea

Post by M.W.Taylor » Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:42 pm

mdvaden wrote:Michael ...

With several pines this tall now, it may be a worthwhile endeavor to remeasure the pines west of Grants Pass, plus these others you've measured in California to keep track of their growth rates. If not yearly, maybe bi-yearly or tri-yearly to see if one region favors faster growth, decline, etc..

Thanks for the update.

Mario, Latitude may be a factor. California has slightly more sunlight overall per year and the Sierra Nevada foothills are a bit warmer than the intermediate ranges of Oregon.

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Re: LiDAR search reveals tallest pine tree on Earth

Post by yofoghorn » Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:08 pm

This pine is very very impressive! It's in the PERFECT location for tallness! LiDAR analysis is the future! Congratulations Michael!
Zane J. Moore
Plant Biology PhD Student
University of California, Davis

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mdvaden
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Re: Pinus Wars LiDAR search reveals tallest pine tree on Ea

Post by mdvaden » Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:01 pm

M.W.Taylor wrote: Mario, Latitude may be a factor. California has slightly more sunlight overall per year and the Sierra Nevada foothills are a bit warmer than the intermediate ranges of Oregon.
More sun in drier growing seasons seemed to boost some coast redwoods, so if there's a bit more daylight in that part of CA, that sounds about right. Was this recent one anywhere near visible water runoff, or a low point in a drainage?

Diameter?

Lookin' good !!
M. D. Vaden of Oregon = http://www.mdvaden.com

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Re: LiDAR search reveals tallest pine tree on Earth

Post by dbhguru » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:01 am

Michael,

Congratulations. The ponderosa has always been one of my favorite species. Who would have guessed?

What is surprising is that we continue to make discoveries like these. It raises a question. Are the trees being discovered as the tallest actually growing in heretofore unrecognized highly favorable terrain for their species - as opposed to just being in difficult to reachplaces, presumably the reason they hadn't previously been discovered. I'm reminded of Matt Markworth's discovery of the 180.6-foot Colorado Blue near Hermosa Creek in the La Plata's. In discussions with Neal Bamsberger, Colorado's champion tree coordinator and a Cadre member, he rarely encounters a cultivar blue spruce in the Denver corridor above 80 feet tall. The species does not to do well in urban planting situations. I'm sure there are several reasons for this that the arborists among us can better speak to, but who would have imagined that we could go from 80 to 180 feet? Afterall, we're not just considering the urban-surbaban trees planted in the least hospitable spots such as the narrow strips between sidewalks and streets, but including those in parks with plenty of growing room.

With the increased availability of LIDAR, is it fair to say that the remaining surprise trees will soon be identified and that the second age of discovery is drawing to an end?

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
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Co-founder and President
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mdvaden
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Re: LiDAR search reveals tallest pine tree on Earth

Post by mdvaden » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:05 am

dbhguru wrote: With the increased availability of LIDAR, is it fair to say that the remaining surprise trees will soon be identified and that the second age of discovery is drawing to an end?

Bob
What you wrote was why I updated my redwood pages this week, implying that the era of discovery was drawing to a close. At least for certain species. For me, it felt like running for a passing locomotive and someone reached their hand out from the last car to let me hitch a ride on the last train to run the tracks.
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Re: Pinus Wars LiDAR search reveals tallest pine tree on Ea

Post by M.W.Taylor » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:40 am

mdvaden wrote:
M.W.Taylor wrote: Mario, Latitude may be a factor. California has slightly more sunlight overall per year and the Sierra Nevada foothills are a bit warmer than the intermediate ranges of Oregon.
More sun in drier growing seasons seemed to boost some coast redwoods, so if there's a bit more daylight in that part of CA, that sounds about right. Was this recent one anywhere near visible water runoff, or a low point in a drainage?

Diameter?

Lookin' good !!

Mario, I would like to keep a few aspects of this tree a mystery for now. I will say this tree is in the "Large" category for ponderosa which I consider over 6' dbh

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Re: LiDAR search reveals tallest pine tree on Earth

Post by M.W.Taylor » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:45 am

dbhguru wrote:Michael,

With the increased availability of LIDAR, is it fair to say that the remaining surprise trees will soon be identified and that the second age of discovery is drawing to an end?

Bob


Bob, If all the forests eventually get LiDAR coverage then I can say you are correct. Big trees however will still need ground searching to find. I have downloaded the LiDAR for Smokey Mountain National Park and have noticed trees over 160 feet there are quite rare. I see no evidence of 200 footers.....yet. It is a big area to search though.

Are there any areas you want me to check for LiDAR coverage and then search ? Thanks to Zane sharing a few trade secrets with me, I am now able to bulk search LiDAR data just like the pros.

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