dimension list start
25, 2006 19:26 PST
The two times we have discussed the TDI (Tree Dimension Index,
acquiesce on the name) the system met with general approval and
amount of enthusiasm. If we want the system to move from simply
good idea to an actual useful tool, we need to develop a list of
maximum dimensions. The system may eventually prove most useful
state level, but for the time being, I suggest we focus on using
national dimension records. That list will allow us to see how
system functions in application and work out any bugs before we
develop a slew of state and other lists. I assume the reference
will eventually reside on the website, but Ed Frank will need to
advise us on what will work best in that area and what he has
and energy to manage. In the mean time, I would be happy to
and build the list as an Excel spreadsheet.
Before the list is posted in a public forum, we will need to
couple of issues. Lee Frelich recently stated, please correct me
I'm misrepresenting your statements, that ENTS would be foolish
informally and publicly present data that might form the basis
high quality, peer-reviewed article. Would that issue be a
with the maximum dimension list? From my fairly ignorant point
view, that problem seems unlikely to develop if we include only
minimal contextual information with the measurements and
state that we should be contacted before the data is reused.
the list could function as a more accurate alternative to state
national big tree lists, which are occasionally cited in
papers. Which brings up the issue of competition or perceived
competition with American Forests. The system and list would
American forests efforts, and consequently, might ruffle some
there. I'm not sure how concerned ENTS is with that potential
friction. Even if those issues are major problems, ENTS can
using the list internally. I may be missing other issues. If so,
please bring them up for discussion.
I've tried to start on the list myself, and I've pulled all of
measurements I've made that I think will be species records and
them in a spreadsheet. The spread currently contains the
Species: I'm currently using Latin names for this field for
clarity. If you're unfamiliar with a species Latin name but know
unambiguous common name, just send me the common name.
Record: This field indicates what dimension the tree is a record
"Height", "Circumference" or
"Spread". Including this field will
allow us to sort the list to produce lists of record heights,
circumferences, and record spreads.
Cbh: Circumfernce 4.5' above midslope listed in inches.
Height: Vertical height in feet.
Spread (Max). Maximum horizontal spread in feet. My impression
the recent discussion on spread measurements was that the group
towards maximum spread, but that no strong decision has been
may well want to change this field in the future, but using
spread will work well enough for now.
Form: "Forest", "Intermediate", or
"Open". This field may not be
essential, but including it will allow us to see if the formula
particular growth forms, although the relationship may be
our sampling patterns. That information will help us decide if
to eventually produce separate open and forest lists.
Site: A name of a local topographic feature, or in the absence
nearby topographic names, the name of a nearby man-made feature.
Examples include "Clear Creek," "Ocmulgee
Flats" and "Big Creek
Location: A large area encompassing many sites, and likely
by an administrative boundary, typically larger than sites used
Rucker Indices. Examples include "Chattahoochee National
"Great Smoky Mountains National Park", and "Altamaha
State: Postal Code abbreviation.
Date: date of the measurements used for dimensions.
Measurer: Any people involved in measuring the listed tree. I'm
currently using measurers' initials for convenience sake.
Note: Includes information on any champion status, if the tree
since died or been reduced in dimensions, if a circumference was
measured at a different point, if circumference is not included
coppicing, and similar relevant information.
To clarify, each record (row) in the spreadsheet represents an
individual tree, and as many of that tree's dimensions are
known. If one tree holds multiple dimension records for the
the tree is simply listed repeatedly with only the
changing. We can restrict the fields shown publicly if
choice of fields (columns) to include may not be ideal, but
sufficient to get the system up and running. If I have omitted
essential field or information that will greatly facilitate
expansion, please let me know. I have tried to confine the
information measurers have readily available.
I don't want to see this idea stall and the system never be into
Please contribute to the maximum dimension list, and help the
system get off the ground.
List.xls The initial list from Jess of Species Maximums
Tree Dimension Maximum
Spreadsheet in HTML format
Maximum dimension list start
25, 2006 22:42 PST
Your plan sounds excellent. If you want to post a spreadsheet on
website, that can be done in a matter of minutes. Excel does
functional web page from its save menu that could be posted, but
the size of
that file may be prohibitive.
For anything posted to the website, or accessible to the general
would like to see a column listing a common name for each
species, if there
is one from a standard public available field guide like
think this is a must for people not having every latin name
many on the list appear to have done.
I am wondering, and this might be a stupid question, ENTS people
measured thousands of trees. To what extent are all of these
into a single database? Are subset being maintained regionally,
or what? Is
each tree in the database identified by a unique tree ID number
designation? If so then there should be a column for the ENTS
tree ID for
the trees listed, so that the data presented on your maximums
tables can be
referenced back to the larger data set.
You have my full support in your efforts to make this concept
fruitation and email me if there is anything I can do to help..
01, 2006 05:50 PST
Last night Jess Riddle sent me a compilation of measurements he
has gathered for use in the Tree Dimension Index. I would
encourage others with tree measurement data to contribute to the
listing. Initially the list will be for all species across the
eastern United States. If you have data to add
to the list, such as larger dimensions for height, girth, or
maximum crown spread, please send the information to me and I
will compile it into the listing for the Eastern US. Please use
the same format (same number of columns in the same order) used
in the spreadsheet posted to the website for ease in compiling
the information. The TDI uses maximum crown spread as one of the
parameters. If you have a large average crown spread number that
can be listed in a separate [Spread (ave)] column, but maximum
crown is the preferred number.
I know Bob Leverett has been working on an ENTS database.
Off-list discussions earlier this year focused on data format
and similar mechanics. This database will eventually allow
different people to maintain regional datasets in a common
format that can be imported into the database. When this is up
and running a query like this could simply be typed into the
database and the information would be compiled. For now I am
working on it by hand. Completion of the Database is rightfully
at the top of Bob's list of ongoing projects.
Please contribute your data to this initial compilation of the
maximum values for each species. The compiled spreadsheet format
will have three rows for each species, one for maximum height,
one for maximum girth, one for maximum crown spread (or
average). Three lines will be used even if a single tree holds
all three records. The individual maximum value will be
highlighted in bold text in that row. In any future public
posting information on specific locations will not be included
on the posted list, but will be maintained in the actual maximum