A hunt with an unexpected result: Sir Monty Cola and the other two giants

Hello,

I’m back again, and this time with an account of today’s adventure.  Today my family and I went in search of a mythical grove of Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), that was planted sometime between the 1950s and the 1970s on top of the Yuba Pass by Charles “Chuck” Hardesty (remember his tree from the Return to Giant’s Forest entry?).  We searched and searched, and found two notable White Firs (Abies concolor), one with a large basal flare (and the only one with a picture here), and the other with a height of 98.6 feet, as well as a Jeffrey Pine (Pinus jeffreyi) with a circumference of 14′ 10″.  Then, after about 1 and 1/2 hours of fruitless searching, we started down the road towards a small valley called Lincoln Valley.  On the way around that loop, we spotted a tree off the road and down the hill.  When we reached the base of the tree, we found what sort of monster it was: a 6.44′ DBH, 20′ 3″ CBH, 97.6′ tall Western White Pine (Pinus monticola).  The tree had a root system with aboveground roots reaching 41.3 feet from the base of the tree.  The tree was named “Sir Monty Cola” as a pun on the Latin species name.  Then we popped down the road, and then stopped near another sizable White Pine.  This one was 17′ 5″ in circumference and 83 feet tall.  Not in the same league as Sir Monty, but still a big tree.  Finally, after a downhill stretch, we stopped just below a 21′ 3″ CBH, 102.1′ tall Red Fir (Abies magnifica).  It was the largest tree of the day, and also proved to be a USFS bearing tree.  After that, we headed on home, just missing a small rainstorm.  Now to show these trees to you-with pictures!

Me next to Sir Monty Cola
Me next to Sir Monty Cola
Side view of Sir Monty
Side view of Sir Monty
Grandma next to Sir Monty
Grandma next to Sir Monty
Grandma next to the HUGE Red Fir
Grandma next to the HUGE Red Fir
First bearing mark on the fir
First bearing mark on the fir
Second bearing mark on the fir
Second bearing mark on the fir
Grandma next to the fir with the basal flare.
Grandma next to the fir with the basal flare.

The problem with the two big White Pines is that they are on land owned by Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI). They also appear to be marked for logging. This is quite unfortunate, as Sir Monty may be among the largest White Pines alive today. If any readers can give any ideas as to how to save Sir Monty, then please comment.

Thanks,

Duncan

A monster among monsters: the Grandfather Tree

Hello all,

I’m going to make another post, this time about an event from exactly a week ago today.  On the 30th of September, 2015, I went with my grandparents and their friend Sharon up the Mountain House Road looking for plants and a giant sugar pine (Pinus Lambertiana).  Grandma and Grandpa had discovered the pine on their second trip up Mountain House with Sharon, back in June of 2015.  When we came to the pine, we got out and measured it at 25′ 0″ in circumference.  Then we used the clinometer to measure it at at least 143.11 feet in height (later on, in November, I met with Michael Taylor, and tested out the Criterion 400 laser rangefinder that he bought and then subsequently gave me, and after a lot of complex measurements, got a new height reading, accuracy of 1 foot or less, of 203.38 feet)  The crown spread is currently unknown, but it is BIG.  There is barely any taper for the first 110 feet or so.  Another thing to note is that out of one of the biggest branches, there appears to be a hemiepiphitic Douglas-Fir (Pseudotsuga Menziesii var. Menziesii) growing out of a small pocket of soil.  This is very exciting news, as it would be one of the first instances of that happening in the Sierra Nevada.  Also in the same area are three other large trees, a Black Oak (Quercus Kelloggii) and two Jeffrey Pines (Pinus Jeffreyi).  Afterwards was a luncheon on the serpentine barrens at the top of the hill, where I spied an Incense-Cedar (Calocedrus Decurrens) that may be fairly old considering the size of the tree and the poor quality of the soil.  Now for some HUGE photos:

Grandpa reaching up next to the behemoth.
Grandpa reaching up next to the behemoth.

DSCN8586

Relaxing next to the big pine.
Relaxing next to the big pine.
Grandpa next to the giant pine.
Grandpa next to the giant pine.

UPDATE:

There is also a photo that I must share; a scan of a black-and-white belonging to Sierra County Arts Council director B.J Jordan. The man second from right is her grandfather. This is NOT the Grandfather Giant, but a larger one also in the Goodyears’ Bar area.

Giant Sugar Pine.  Photo taken in the late 1800s-early 1900s.
Giant Sugar Pine. Photo taken in the late 1800s-early 1900s.