Tree height ties?   Edward Frank
  May 24, 2007 18:45 PDT 


What do you think about tree height ties? If you look at American
Forests, trees that are within so many points of each other are
considered to be ties for when considered champion tree status. This
allows for some of the vagueties of measurement errors. Our measurements
are very accurate, but they are not perfect. Should we consider trees
within say a foot or two of each other to be a tie, or should we simply
say the one with the higher measurement be considered the tallest? If
we want to consider trees to be ties within a certain range, what should
that range be? For reference on tree climbs versus laser measurements,
Will Blozan is typically getting less than a foot of difference between
the two readings.

Ed Frank
Re: Tree height ties?   Thomas Diggins
  May 25, 2007 10:04 PDT 

Hi y'all,

Within a foot certainly seems reasonable to consider trees as "tied"
for a particular top spot (we COULD argue six inches also, given the
accuracy and precision of laser measures). In Zoar we've found two
American basswoods over 128'. The one with the higher measured height
by a couple inches takes nearly two hours to reach, and is often
inaccessible on foot due to high river flow. The shorter is a twenty
minute walk into a commonly visited area of the gorge - a much more
easily shown "tallest" member of the species.

Tree height ties- back to Ed   Robert Leverett
  May 25, 2007 13:02 PDT 


   Given that we continually to strive for accuracy improvements, but
acknowledge that our best efforts still carry some error, trees within
+/- 1.0 feet of height of one another could be validly listed as
co-champions. In Rucker index calculations, we would still include the
tallest members.

   Your question points to the need for a discussion on what kinds of
ENTS-wide lists we want to maintain similar to the National Register of
Big Trees or state lists. I would vote for 3 ENTS-wide lists maintained
on the website with provision for co-champions. The lists would be:

   1. Champions of height
   2. Champions of girth
   3. Champions of spread
   4. TDI champions based on the 300 point system

   Trees of the same species within +/- 1.0 feet in height of one
another would be height cochampions.

   Trees of the same specie within +/- 1.0 inches of girth would be

   Trees of the same species within +/- ??? feet of spread would be

   Trees within ??? (2 points?) of TDI points would be cochampions.

   There is potentially a big marketing advantage to us to now maintain
these lists on the website. Data coming in from different geographical
regions is now at such a level to warrant list maintenance.

   We do need a few more Ents out there in locations of under-coverage.
Hopefully, Beth will be able to persuade some folks in the
Missouri-Illinois region to come on board with us. And as soon as Will
Fell single-handedly puts out that monstrous southern Georgia-northern
Florida fire, may we see some numbers crop up for species like the long
leaf pine.

   As of June 29th, I will officially retire and then plan to take many
more trips to measure, measure, measure. My buddy Howard Stoner and I
hope to scout out great New York cottonwoods and other flood plain
species in the Hudson River Corridor. We're hoping that our sister Holly
Post can join us. It will be eastern New York on the rise. I do want to
visit some of the eastern PA sites and gather data in that sector. I'm
hoping that Dale Luthringer, Scott Wade, Carl Harting, Ed Frank, and
Anthony Kelly will allow me to be an honorary member of the soooper
doooper PA team. Then there will be the trips to the southern Apps to
play catchup with my buddies Will and Jess.

   In terms of general coverage, if we can all cheer on John Knuerr who
visits Maine fairly often, we can strengthened our data set from the
Pine Tree State. While I don't expect Maine to challenge southern New
England, we still need the data.

   Elsewhere, Larry Tuccei is proving to be a one man army down in
Mississippi, but I'm sure he could use the help from another, maybe
someone in Alabama. And of course we have Dr. Don Bragg out in Arkansas
who hopefully can squeeze some minutes here and there to measure.

   We hope that when Paul Jost gets his new upgraded model of Simmons(?)
laser rangefinder, he'll test it out on some of the potentially big/tall
tree sites in Wisconsin. Paul doesn't need lessons from anyone on tree
measuring. He is a true expert. We just need to hear from him more.

   Well, enough rambling. The holiday weekend approaches and it is off
to Robinson State Park tomorrow to peruse the tuliptree habitat with Ray
Weber and Dr. Karen Searcy of UMASS. On Monday, it is over to Mount
Greylock to check on the champion red spruce and scout out cool areas of


RE: Tree height ties- back to Ed   Edward Frank
  May 28, 2007 19:03 PDT 


Looking at your list, the height champion, girth champion, and TDI
(height/girth) champion seems reasonable. I am having trouble
convincing people to measure crown spread, so its viability as a
champion list is questionable.   Volume is another list to consider as
several people are now measuring volumes. Volume can be incorporated to
some extent into the TDI format. We can not leave out Rucker Index

I would not include ties for the Rucker index. TDI - I would think 5 to
10 points. For girth I think we should be more lenient at maybe 6
inches girth? just a suggestion...


RE: Tree height ties- back to Ed   Robert Leverett
  May 29, 2007 07:06 PDT 


   Six inches of girth leeway for cochampions may be okay at the high
end of the size scale, but what about the little trees? There six inches
might represent a significant percentage of total girth. What do you

RE: Tree height ties- back to Ed   Edward Frank
  May 29, 2007 12:53 PDT 


I guess the best option would be to not allow any tolerances with girth.
Girth is girth.

Re: Tree height ties- back to Ed   Jess Riddle
  Jul 04, 2007 17:00 PDT 

Hello all,

I'm catching up on some old e-mails, and wanted to through in my two
cents on ties and what record lists to maintain. I agree with Ed that
height, girth, two-factor TDI, and Rucker are the most important
record lists to maintain. I think spread is untenable as a
comprehensive or authoritative list, but we should certainly track
what measurements we do have. I would encourage a girth-height TDI
over a girth-height-spread TDI. If spread is given the same weight
and girth and height, I don't think the list will reflect very well
which trees we intuitively view as the largest or volume; should five
feet of spread for a hemlock count as much as 17' of height or 22" of

The one foot margin for height champions seems good to me. I think we
do need some tolerance for listing girth co-champions. If a moderate
to large tree grows on a slope, minor error or multiple
interpretations of correct girth can easily result. What about
listing trees within one percent as girth co-champions? I don't think
that solution is ideal, but it should be practical and give reasonable

Re: Tree height ties- back to Ed   Edward Frank
  Jul 04, 2007 18:00 PDT 


I think the height/girth is the more applicable of the TDI concepts in most
cases. For some trees, such as some of the open grown sycamores and live
oaks that crown spread is a major component and the 3-factor TDI should be
maintained and calculated. As for whether or not spread is as important
height and girth in the impression of tree size, I would argue that the
impression of size does not matter -the value of spread as a component in
the impression of a tree size is entirely subjective- it is a viable,
measurable, independent statistic and as valid as any other measured
parameter. Therefore the three parameter TDI is in my opinion an excellent
way to compare trees within a species.