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Pinus lambertiana, El Dorado National Forest, CA 
- photo by Don Bertolette, Oct 2004

El Dorado National Forest Oct 2007 - photo by Don Bertolette


On March 14, 2010 the Eastern Native Tree Society and Western Native Tree Society switched from discussion lists on Google Groups to a new discussion list in a Bulletin Board format at:   Posts made since the inception of the BBS on March 14, 2010 will be sorted and archived on the BBS. Click on the link to go to the equivalent section on the new BBS. This website will continue to serve as a front end for the ENTS and WNTS groups. It will continue to serve as a repository of older posts, and will serve as the host site for special projects and features that are not well suited for a BBS format. Please visit the BBS for the latest information and trip reports.

  • 13,000 year old oak tree [link] interesting article. Researchers from UC Davis and UC Riverside say the 75-foot-wide Palmer's oak shrub has lived about 13,000 years despite inhospitable surroundings, regenerating itself with new shoots.  Feb 24, 2010.
  • In California, a Scrub Oak Is an Old Pro at Cloning WNTS, ENTS, I saw this report on a California scrub oak ( Quercus palmeri) that might be of interest to all of you: In California, a Scrub Oak Is an Old Pro at Cloning By HENRY FOUNTAIN Published: January 4, 2010 In Southern California, a place where most everything is new, botanists have discovered something very old: a scrub oak that has been cloning itself for at least 13,000 years.... more »
    By Edward Frank  - Jan 10, 2010
  • WNTS Trip Report - Sierra Nevada Range - Western Juniper WNTS/ENTS- I've attached what I think is the last of the 2008 WNTS Trip Report series that came from an October 2008/2009 journey through the Sierra Nevada range. This one focuses on the western juniper, specifically the variety called australis which occurs typically at higher elevations. I continue to work with different strategies to keep the file sizes down...I think I've managed to, but at some cost to image resolution. For those who'd like higher resolution images, I'm happy to supply them on request. Jan 4, 2010
  • Tehipite Dome Part 1  Tehipite Dome - 1972 WNTS/ENTS folks- Just in time for snowbound holidays, I'm attaching Parts One (and Two in a later post, to keep file sizes smaller) of my WNTS Trip Report of Tehipite Dome, located in the Central Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, in 1972 (and Tehipite Valley in 1973, in Part Two). These two hikes were made in between spring semesters and summer jobs while I was a forestry student at Humboldt State University. I have no presentable photographs from that time, and may not have put forth this narrative, had it not been for an internet search that yielded digital images of essentially the same trip, done by Bob Burd in 2007. I am indebted to him for providing permission to use the photos you'll see in this trip report (unless otherwise attributed)... December 11, 2009
  •  Tehipite Valley, part 2 Tehipite Valley - 1973  WNTS/ENTS- As promised, here's PART TWO - Tehipite Valley Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! -Don December 11, 2009
  • Giant Sequoia #2 WNTS and ENTS, here are some more pictures of Giant Sequoias along the 'Trail of 100 Giants'. Doug  December 9, 2009
  • Giant Sequoia #1  WNTS and ENTS, the 'Trail of 100 Giants' didn't just have big Ponderosa pines. There were also plenty of Giant Sequoias. I later read that this is the site of the second southernmost grove of Giant Sequoias. Cool. And we just stumbled upon it. Now you might be thinking that we're a couple of fools to go this close to Sequoia NP and not go there. Well, we only had one full day and I've already been there twice...Ellen only once. Still, we were hoping to run into a few and we did. So it all worked out great in the end... December 9, 2009
  • Ponderosa pine, Southern California, WNTS and ENTS, Ponderosa pine was with us wherever we went last month in Southern California. We saw it at the southernmost park that we visited, Cuyamaca Rancho SP, and we saw it in Sequoia National Forest a good deal farther North as well. The first two pictures show the fattest one that we saw near the southern entrance of Cuyamaca Rancho SP. I thought it was funny when the park ranger told us to stick our noses in the bark and smell. Now where have I heard that before? December 9, 2009
  • California Oaks / Valley oak WNTS/ENTS, so now I come to valley oak. Whenever the subject of largest North American oak is mentioned in any material that I've read, this species is always considered as the largest or one of the largest. The following sentence from "The Oaks of California" is typical: "Valley oak may be the largest North American oak, and descriptions of its remarkable stature appear in the diaries of many early visitors to California". As the common name implies this species likes to grow in the well-watered and nutrient-rich soils of the valleys. Unfortunately this is also the reason that so many of these trees are now gone...they have mostly lost out to agriculture as well as residential developments.. December 9, 2009
  • California Oaks / Engelmann oak #2 WNTS/ENTS, here are some more pictures of Engelmann oaks in this beautiful park. Enjoy! Doug Decmeber 8, 2009
  • California Oaks / Engelmann oak #1 WNTS/ENTS, in my last post I wrote about the coast live oaks of the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. Well, my real reason for going there, other than the beautiful scenery, was to visit the very best Engelmann oak savanna in the world...or at least the best public place. Engelmann oak is one of the rarest oaks in California and oak savanna is one of my favorite landscapes so this park was very high on my list of places to visit in California. Engelmann oak is one of the four trees in the White Oak group in California... December 8, 2009
  •  WNTS Trip Report - 2008 - Bristlecone Pines - Part One - Patriarch Grove - PART ONE WNTS/ENTS/friends- In addition to the 2009 Bristlecone Pine Trip Report that I posted last month, I am attaching the recently assembled 2008 Trip Report. This latest report focuses on the Patriarch Grove, about a 1000' higher and some 12 miles further up the road from the 2009 report at the Schulman Grove Dec 8, 2009.
  • California Oaks / Coast Live Oak#2  ENTS, here are some other pictures of coast live oaks that we saw at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve near Murrieta in Riverside County. This reserve is managed by five agencies and it is about 8,300 acres in size. It sounds like it was quite an ordeal to get this place set aside so it wouldn't be developed. It was well worth it. This property gives people some idea of what this part of California once looked like...beautiful oak savanna, prairie and chaparral. The sort of place I always had in my mind whenever I thought about how Southern California should look when I was a child learning about the Mediterranean climate of this region. Dec 6, 2009.
  • California Oaks / Coast Live Oak #1 NTS, coast live oaks (Q. agrifolia) are another attractive species in the Red Oak group. I first encountered these two years ago in December on the way from Pasadena to San Francisco. I took a number of pictures at Los Osos Oaks State Reserve in the San Luis Obispo area. Later that day we went to Paso Robles and sampled the local wines. Tough day!..  Dec 6, 2009
  • California oaks / California black oak ENTS, before moving on to the Red Oaks of California I thought I'd say a word about the other tree-sized oak in the subgenus Protobalanus: island oak. I didn't see any of these as they only occur in the wild on the Channel Islands and on Guadelupe Island southwest of San Diego. Since this is an attractive tree they are now planted all over Southern California...but I still didn't see any. Maybe next time. December 1, 2009
  • Oak question Nov 30, 2009
  • Part One ~ Bristlecone Pine-WNTS Tree Report WNTS/ENTS- I am attaching Part One of a two-part Bristlecone Pine Trip Report. Sorry for having to split the report into two parts, but despite they're being 1.6 and 1.5 Mb each (3.1 Mb total), they're not being permitted through our googlegroup mailer daemon. Technological emcumbrances aside, Part Two will follow shortly, for your reading pleasure.... more » Nov 29, 2009.
  • Part Two ~ Bristlecone Pine WNTS Trip Report  WNTS/ENTS- I am attaching Part Two of a two-part Bristlecone Pine Trip Report. Enjoy! -Don Nov 29, 2009.
  • California oaks / canyon oak Nov 29, 2009 Hello ENTS, earlier this month I visited my brother and his family in Pasadena, California and I was able see some cool trees. I especially focused on oaks because I really like them and California is blessed with quite a few species. They have a total of twenty species and nine of these get to be tree-size. Four of these belong to the subgenus Lepidobalanus or the White Oaks. These include valley oak (Quercus lobata), blue oak (Q. douglasii), Engelmann oak (Q. engelmannii) and Oregon oak (Q. garryana). Three species belong to the subgenus Erythrobalanus or the Red Oaks. These include black oak (Q. kelloggii), coast live oak (Q. agrifolia) and interior live oak (Q. wislizenii). These two groups are very familiar to us in the East, but then there is a third group in California as well; these are the Intermediate Oaks in the subgenus Protobalanus. Canyon oak (Q. chrysolepis) and island oak (Q. tomentella) belong to this group which, as the common name implies,..  canyon oak (photo) NTS, naturally I forgot to attach the images. This time I will. Image #1 This is a closeup of the leaves and acorns of canyon oak. According to the authors of "Oaks of California", this species "probably has the largest acorns of any North American Quercus, especially if trees from coastal hardwood forests are measured." The acorns are certainly large but I think that the bur oaks of the southern states, especially Texas, probably have larger acorns. The leaves are shiny and bright green above but dull and more bluish or grayish below with many tiny golden or silvery hairs. The golden color extends to the acorn scales and this is why this species is also known as goldencup oak. The scientific name of chrysolepis, which means gold scale, also refers to this particular characteristic....
  • Bristlecone Pines as signals of climate change Eli- I think an even more interesting study would be gradient analyses of moisture, temperature, UV at the geographic extents of the bristlecones (lats, longs, elevations). One of the questions posed in a ecological restoration class I took was "How will global climate change impact the geographic extents of _____________(choose a species)". My choice was Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) in Northern Arizona on San Francisco Peaks...I predicted that the aspen were somewhat less mobile, that they were likely to die out at lower elevations due to increased predation by forest pathogens with rising temperatures, and to stabilize at higher elevations. Lots more to it than that, but the idea is that it just takes a few degrees (in this case adiabatic temperature change) change to have significant impact on many facets of an ecosystem. When enough of those subtle 'facets' accumulate, major differences will be noticed. Particularly at the geographic extents, where the natural limits already in place get exceeded... Nov. 17, 2009
  • Property rights at stake in tussle over trees Property rights at stake in tussle over trees San Francisco Chronicle Peter Fimrite, Chronicle Staff Writer Tuesday, November 17, 2009 [link] "Neighborhood disputes over trees in the Bay Area are not uncommon, but few can match the legal entanglement raging in Marin County over one woman's beloved eucalyptus grove.... more »  Novemebr 17, 2009
  • NTS Foxtail Report  (Old-growth Foxtail Pine Ecosystem) WNTS/ENTS folks- While ENTS reports typically include significant amounts of tree measurement data, WNTS as a growing forum starts of slowly in that regard, with attached word document. Subsequent reports, at least those I'll be submitting in the near future, will include an increasing amount of tree measurements, but may not rise to the level of Rucker Indices, etc., unless future demand outstrips our expectations. Which would be fine!... Nov. 8, 2009
  • Nat. Geographic Redwood article fold-out photo Oct. 9, 2009
  • Bristlcone Pines(Some notes on sampling history) October 4, 2009  
  • NatGeo Redwood Composite photos!  October 2, 2009
  • Sequoia Mapping Summer 2009
  • National Geographic- The Great Redwoods, October 2009
  • California fires  - Manzanita plants flourishing August 19, 2009
  • Long-term forest monitoring at Yosemite July 23, 2009
  • San Jacinto Mountain, CA July 18, 2009
  • California White Fir July 12, 2009
  • Proposed Ancient Forest National Park, CA and OR July 2, 2009
  • Yosemite's Giant Trees Disappear, May 2009 -
  • Big Basin Redwoods State Park Nov 2008
  • The Hyperion redwood- worlds tallest tree
  • Schulman Visitors Center Fire Sept 2008
  • Banding an Eagle June 2007
  • A somewhat Ill fated trip to a Giant Forest - Sequoia National Forest March 2007
  • New World's Tallest Tree August 2006
  • New World's Tallest Tree July 2006
  • California Climbing Nov 2005
  • Sequoia/King's Canyon July 2005
  • Tallest Hardwood - Catalina Island May 2006
California is best known for the spectacular redwood forests along the Pacific Coastline.  These include stands in Redwood National Park, and a number of state parks.  These parks include many of the tallest trees in the world, with heights over 300 feet reached regularly.  These trees may live to 2000 years of age.  Elsewhere in the state in are the ancient Bristlecone Pines.  Bristlecone pine forests exist in several western mountain ranges but the oldest trees live in California's White Mountains. The oldest living inhabitant of this earth, as far as is known, is a bristlecone pine named "Methuselah", dated by it tree rings to be a fantastic 4,770 years old.  There are reports of an older pine in the range, but its location is being kept secret.  In addition to these notable examples of old growth forest, there are other old growth forests found  the state in a number of National Parks and also in particular in Northern California.  In southern California is found Joshua Tree National Park.  Joshua Trees, Yucca brevifolia, are large yucca plant and not true trees, but worthy of some measurements.


California Register of Big Trees The California Register of Big Trees is a program of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) and the Northern and Southern California Societies of American Foresters (NorCal SAF). It maintains records for the largest specimen of each native and naturalized tree species growing in California. The register seeks to recognize and sustain these living landmarks. Not all champions are literal giants like the General Sherman Giant Sequoia. The National Champion Smoke Tree, for example, is a mere 17 feet tall, with a crown spread of 12 feet and circumference of 48 inches.

Muir Woods National Monument "This is the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world," declared conservationist John Muir when describing the majestic coast redwoods of Muir Woods. Until the 1800's, many northern California coastal valleys were covered with coast redwood trees similar to those now found in Muir Woods National Monument. The forest along Redwood Creek in today's Muir Woods was spared from logging because it was hard to get to. The National Monument preserves the last old growth coast redwood forest in the San Francisco Bay Area. The cool moist forest supports a surprising abundance of plant and animal life, from the coast redwood (the tallest type of tree on Earth), to the slimy banana slug, from the amazing Coho salmon to delicate trilliums. This forest refuge welcomes visitors from all over the world to experience the magic of the redwood forest.

Redwood National and State Parks Redwood National and State Parks are home to some of the world's tallest trees: old-growth coast redwoods. They can live to be 2000 years old and grow to over 300 feet tall. Spruce, hemlock, Douglas-fir, berry bushes, and sword ferns create a multiple canopied understory that towers over all visitors. The parks' mosaic of habitats include prairie/oak woodlands, mighty rivers and streams, and 37 miles of pristine Pacific coastline.

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Jeremiah Smith Redwoods State Park - photo courtesy of the US National Park Service

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Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park - photo courtesy of the US National Park Service.

Yosemite National Park Yosemite National Park embraces a spectacular tract of mountain-and-valley scenery in the Sierra Nevada, which was set aside as a national park in 1890. Highlights of the park include Yosemite Valley, and its high cliffs and waterfalls; the Mariposa Grove, which contains hundreds of ancient giant sequoias, the world's largest living things.; Glacier Point's (summer-fall) spectacular view of Yosemite Valley and the high country; and Tuolumne Meadows (summer-fall), a large subalpine meadow surrounded by mountain peak.  Massive and ancient giant sequoias live in three groves in Yosemite National Park. The most easily accessible of these (spring through fall) is the Mariposa Grove near the park's South Entrance, off of the Wawona Road (Highway 41). Two smaller--and less visited--groves are the Tuolumne and Merced Groves near Crane Flat.

Yosemite National Park - photo by US National Park Service

Sequoia National Park - photo by US National Park Service

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks These parks are home to giants: immense mountains, deep canyons, and huge trees. Thanks to their huge elevational range, 1,500' to 14,491', these parks protect stunningly diverse habitats. The Generals Highway climbs over 5000 feet from chaparral and oak-studded foothills to the awe-inspiring sequoia groves. From there, trails lead to the high-alpine wilderness which makes up most of these parks. Beneath the surface lie over 200 fascinating caverns. Grant Grove houses the General Grant Tree, which is the Nation's Christmas Tree and our only living national shrine, commemorating those Americans who lost their lives in war. The Lodgepole Visitor Center provides information for visitors to Giant Forest and the northern section of Sequoia National Park, our country's second oldest National Park. General Sherman Tree: The General Sherman Tree is 274.9' (83.8 meters) tall, and 102.6' (31.3 meters) in circumference at its base. Other trees in the world are taller: the tallest tree in the world is the Coast Redwood, which averages 300' - 350' (91.4 - 106.7 meters) in height. A cypress near Oaxaca, Mexico has a greater circumference, 162' (49.4 meters). But in volume of wood, the Sherman has no equal. With 52,500 cubic feet (1486.6 cubic meters) of wood, the General Sherman Tree earns the title of the World's Largest Living Thing.


General Sherman Tree

Joshua Tree National Park Two deserts, two large ecosystems whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation, come together at Joshua Tree National Park. Below 3,000 feet, the Colorado Desert encompasses the eastern part of the park and features natural gardens of creosote bush, ocotillo, and cholla cactus. The higher, moister, and slightly cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of the Joshua tree. In addition to Joshua tree forests, the western part of the park also includes some of the most interesting geologic displays found in California’s deserts. Five fan palm oases also dot the park, indicating those few areas where water occurs naturally and wildlife abounds. 

Inyo National Forest, US Forest Service Located in California's beautiful Eastern Sierra, the Inyo National Forest offers clean air, crystal blue skies, mountain lakes and streams, challenging trails, high mountain peaks, and beautiful views. With over two million acres, the Inyo National Forest is home to many natural wonders, including Mt. Whitney, Mono Lake, Mammoth Lakes Basin, and the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, as well as seven Congressionally-designated Wildernesses, comprising over 650,000 acres of land.

GORP - Inyo National Forest Page "Of the many scenic wonders found within the Inyo National Forest, one of the most amazing is the ANCIENT BRISTLECONE PINE FOREST, located between 10,000 and 11,000 ft. in the White Mountains, east of the Sierra Nevada. These trees (Pinus longaeva) are the oldest known living trees on earth. Here in the White Mountains, the ancient trees have survived more than 40 centuries, exceeding the age of the oldest Giant Sequoia by 1,500 yrs."  

White Mountains, Inyo National Forest, AMWest Travel In an obscure mountain range in eastern California the world's oldest living inhabitants, the bristlecone pines, have resided for millenia. Ancient bristlecone pine forests exist in several western mountain ranges but the oldest trees live in California's White Mountains. The oldest living inhabitant of this earth, as far as is known, is a bristlecone pine named "Methuselah", dated by it tree rings to be a fantastic 4,770 years old (in 2004). 

Old Growth on the Middle Fork Ranger District There are four basic forest types on the Middle Fork district, Douglas-fir dominated (with some western hemlock and western redcedar), mixed conifer (which contains Douglas-fir, grand fir, sugar pine, incense cedar, and ponderosa pine), Pacific silver fir, and mountain hemlock.  These are general categories; all tree species often occur as minor components in other types.  A group of Forest Service and university researchers developed a very specific definition for Douglas- fir dominated old growth in 1986 with a publication entitled “Interim Definitions for Old Growth Douglas-fir and Mixed Conifer Forests in the Pacific Northwest and California”.  This publication indicates that an old- growth forest has at last eight trees per acre larger than 32 inches in diameter, at least 12 trees per acre greater than 16 inches in diameter of species such as western hemlock and western redcedar which are tolerant of the shade produced by the larger trees, more than four dead standing trees per acre greater than 20 inches in diameter and 15 feet tall, and more than four dead trees per acre greater than 24 inches in diameter and 50 feet long lying on the ground.  On the Middle Fork District, stands with these characteristics may take as long as 250 + years to develop.

Friends of Gualala River Logging Old Growth on the Haupt Creek.  After denying a plan to log 44 acres of old growth forest for lack of required environmental information (see below), the Department of Forestry (CDF) exempted 890 acres of old growth from environmental review to permit logging of "dead, dying and diseased" trees.   The landowner submitted an application for an exemption on June 22, 2004. CDF responded the next day that they had accepted the exemption, and assigned it exemption number 1-04EX-237-SON.  Friends of the Gualala River (FoGR) is concerned that this unregulated logging activity in an old growth redwood forest -- the last major stand of its type in Sonoma County -- will have serious adverse environmental impacts.

  Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign The Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign is a coalition of conservation organizations, individual activists, scientists, businesses and spiritual leaders fighting for the protection of old growth forests, sensitive watersheds and threatened wildlife in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

California Wild Heritage Campaign The California Wild Heritage Campaign is a broad based coalition with only one goal - to preserve California's unprotected wilderness and wild rivers for future generations to enjoy. To achieve this goal, we need your help! Read on to find out how you can help save the last wild places in California.

GORP - California Wilderness Green forests and tumbling rivers; small mountain lakes tucked behind towering peaks; desert vistas stretching as far as the eye can see. These scenes and a multitude of other sights greet visitors to the Areas of California. 

Gynosperms of Alta California 

Redwood Hikes A guide to California's old-growth coast redwood trails