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HDs and Elsewhere

Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:55 am
by dbhguru
WNTS-ENTS,

Lots to tell about, but no time at the moment. A few choice tidbits though. Yesterday, Don, Laura, Randy, Lee, and I went to visit a rancher with big trees on his property. He had a few. I initially doubted it because his land is in the dry HDs. However, he said he had two big ponderosas. We went to confirm them. The first measured 12.3 feet around and 83.5 feet in height. It had been struck by lightning and was on the way down. The second tree, in better shape, measured 16.1 feet around and was 97.0 feet tall. It is a column. I calculate between 940 and 980 cubic feet of trunk volume. With limbs, it will exceed 1,000 cubes. The following image shows the following image shows the tree with Randy along side.
BillVancePineSmall.jpg
A view from the trek up to some impressive gambel oaks follows.
HDVistaSmall.jpg
The gambels we sought grow at an altitude of 8,000 to 8,200 feet. I'll report more thoroughly as I get time. Gotta run.

Bob

Re: HDs and Elsewhere

Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:09 am
by Don
WNTS/ENTS folks-
Having left Alaska at nearly sea level, and flown to Denver, Colorado at 5000' and then driven onto Durango at 6500', and then to various big tree hunting sites at 8000' to 9000', it's taken awhile to acclimate. I can't speak for the others (Laura Stransky, our delightful host; Lee Frelich, our dellightfully loquacious Minnesotan; Randy Browne, our delightfully underspoken Ohioan; and Bob and Monica, our delightful ENTS couple), but there was some huffing and puffing going on!
I have the least number of photos, but am downloading some of them here and now, with a little bit of morning time availing itself. Most of them are trailside shots, to give you all a feel for some of the fine forests of the San Juan NF.
The number of exemplary trees we've found here is astounding when you consider the relatively small sampling we've made!
Time to be off, to some high mountain passes...breathe in, breathe out...drink lots of water...apply sunblocker...wear hats! Try to keep up with Bob!

Re: HDs and Elsewhere

Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:15 pm
by Steve Galehouse
I don't mean to be dense, but what are the HDs?

Steve

Re: HDs and Elsewhere

Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:03 pm
by James Parton
Awesome Ponderosas! They're HUGE!!

JP

Re: HDs and Elsewhere

Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:51 am
by dbhguru
Steve,

The HDs is a small area of the southern San Juans. Nobody is quite sure of where the name came from, but may have to do with a ranch or two ranchers. Sounds reasonable. The HDs lie to the south of U.S. 160 between Pagosa Springs and Bayfield. They reach 9,000 feet in a few spots. They are much drier that the higher peaks to the north. That is why we were surprised at the size of the ponderosas. As to where the HDs reflect any unique geology, I don't know. Natural gas has been discovered beneath the HDs and our friend BP is doing the exploring. Local feelings are mixed, as you'd expect.

Bob

Re: HDs and Elsewhere

Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:14 pm
by Steve Galehouse
Bob-

Forests like that are utterly foreign to me----big trees, but only two or three species? I've not seen that sort of plant association before. Really pretty and impressive, but I think I prefer the melange of Eastern species I'm acquainted with, but a great report and very interesting.

Steve

Re: HDs and Elsewhere

Posted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:38 am
by KoutaR
Ed,

After reading your message, I started to think, what kind of index would be better than the R10 for international use. If we are comparing two stands of completely different structure - like GSMNP and Humboldt Redwoods, for example - I believe both height and diversity cannot be represented by just one number. We need two dimensional space. One possibility would be a coordinate pair (max. height, number of species attaining xx % of the max. height). xx could be 75, for example. This is still easier to calculate than R10 and represents the height and the diversity of a canopy. For example, GSMNP would probably have a value about (189', 25), Cook Forest (184', 3) and Humboldt Redwoods (371', 1) or (371', 2). Some Amazonian forest could have (190', 50). Tawau Hills Park perhaps (289', 50) or something like that.

Any thoughts?

Kouta

Re: HDs and Elsewhere

Posted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:56 am
by dbhguru
Species Height Pct of Max Hgt for species

Ponderosa pine 160.8 100
Douglas fir (RMtn) 158.0 100
Colorado blue spruce 156.0 100
White fir 117.0 96
SW white pine 111.0 100
Narrow leaf cottonwood 111.0 100

Avg 135.6 99

There is no way that the combination (160.8, 135.6, 99) isn't impressive. There is only one other species that needs to be included to give a complete picture and that is aspen. I haven't spent any time on aspen, but am sure I can get 90 feet out of one. The record is 105. If aspen is included, we have an estimated

(160.8, 129.1, 98)

Best in the Rocky Mtn West so far.

Bob

Re: HDs and Elsewhere

Posted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:58 am
by KoutaR
Bob,

According
http://www.landmarktrees.net/tallest%20 ... pines.html
the tallest ponderosa pine is 259 ft and located in Oregon.

According
http://www.conifers.org/pi/ps/glauca.htm
the tallest Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir is 221 ft and located in Idaho.

According
http://www.conifers.org/pi/ab/concolor.htm
the tallest white fir is 217 ft and located in California, if we take A. concolor var. lowiana (=A. lowiana) along. If we consider only A. concolor var. concolor, then the tallest would be 141 ft and located in Utah.

But what is SW white pine?

So ,the forest you are exploring would have (160.8', 3) in the index system I described above.

Kouta

Re: HDs and Elsewhere

Posted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:35 pm
by edfrank
ENTS,

This discussion on alternatives to the Rucker index is continued here:
http://www.ents-bbs.org/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=1058

Ed