2nd post Big Trees from Peru and Costa Rica

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#1)  2nd post Big Trees from Peru and Costa Rica

Postby Bart Bouricius » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:16 pm

2nd Report on October Peru Trip and December-January Costa Rica Trip

In this report I have some images of trees on another farm and some images from the Tirimbina Reserve both in the province of  Sarapiquí Costa Rica on the Atlantic side of the country.  I will conclude this post with a large Guanacaste Tree near the town of Balsilla.  


Here I stand in front of  a Pilon Tree Hieronyma alchorneoides on the farm of the Alfaro family in Sarapiquí Costa Rica on the Atlantic side of the country.  You may notice the small fig tree clinging to the right of the Pilon tree.  It is a hemiepiphyte which starts on a tree and then grows roots down to the ground.  Strangler figs often do this.  This Tree was 33' 4" in circumference and 144' high.


My friends Leti and Lisette Alfaro stand next to another tree on the same farm.  It is a Wild Almond tree Dipteryx oleifera (recently changed from D. panamensis).  This tree was 161.5' tall and 15'  1" above the buttresses.   A "much larger" one on the farm was recently cut because it was hollow and structurally unsound.   This species according to Richard Condit, is the tallest tree on Barro Colorado Island where an important Biological research station is located.  The island is in a large lake that feeds the Panama Canal.  The tree in Panama was measured to a height of 53 meters or 172'.  This species, which is a very valuable timber tree is protected in Costa Rica.   As the tree became scarcer due to logging in the 80's and 90's, the Great Green  Macaw, which depends on this particular species for both nesting in and food has become extinct in much of its former range and is now considered  endangered.  This tree species is so valuable for timber because it has a strong dense wood with a specific gravity of .89 and is said to be impervious to termites.  

See info on Green Macaw:    http://news.mongabay.com/2008/1027-costa_rica.html


In this image I am climbing approximately 120' up in a large Kapok Tree at the Tirimbina Reserve.


looking up at the towering Kapok Tree from ground.


image 5
My friend Witold, who studies spiders in the canopy at Tirimbina collecting data for his PHD thesis,  in the tree with me.


Bob and owner Jonny Cubero in front of a Guanacaste tree measuring 31' 4" in Circumference and 79' tall.  This species does not get tall, but this one had a  crown spread in one direction of 157'.


Entire Guanacaste tree for perspective.


iLooking up at Barrigon tree from previous post Pseudobombax septenatum

Next year when Connie and I visit our friends in Costa Rica again, I will have prepared for side excursions to look for remarkable large trees.  Considering that most of these trees were simply trees that we could walk to from where we happened to be staying, I expect to find significantly larger ones.  I am told by Lisette Alfaro that near where she works as a guide, there is a truly immense Sandbox Tree Hura crepitans, which is described by Richard Condit as "A forest giant.  Trunk can be immense, matching Ceiba (Malvaceae-Bombacoideae) or Anacardium escelsum (Anacardaceae) in size but without buttresses."  I was also told of an individual  Ceiba tree that is supposed to have a 22 foot diameter, however I find this difficult to believe unless it is not an above the buttress measurement.  Nevertheless, I know there are bigger trees out there and am keen to find and document them, this time with my GPS unit in hand as well as measuring tools

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#2)  Re: 2nd post Big Trees from Peru and Costa Rica

Postby Larry Tucei » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:20 pm

Bart, Wow! Another nice report! That Guanacaste tree reminds me of our Live Oaks here in the South. Can you imagine how many giants have been lost to logging? We did the same thing here in this country cut all the best timber.      Larry
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#3)  Re: 2nd post Big Trees from Peru and Costa Rica

Postby James Parton » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:08 am


It is really nice to see trip reports from the tropics. The tropics generally are quite a void for us. Outstanding job!
James E Parton
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