I first had the inspiration to do this when I saw John Montague, one of Michael Taylor’s many tree-hunting friends, do one of his “year in review” posts on Facebook. His list of accomplishments for 2015 is quite impressive. But without further ado, it is time for the Sierra County Big Trees Project’s 2015 Tree Year in Review!
5/11/2015 t0 5/17/2015: Family trip to Olympic National Park, Washington. The seeds of tree interest are sown in my mind after this trip.
Early June 2015: Grandpa, Grandma and their friend Sharon first bring a giant Sugar Pine in Goodyears’ Bar to my attention. Grandpa then suggests that we should start documenting the giant trees of the area. The Sierra County Big Trees Project is then born.
8/8/2015: After a hike, Grandpa, Grandma and my sister Jade run across three giant conifers on a back road. We eventually find out that this area of old-growth extends across the entire mountainside for several miles. The area is given the name “Forest of the Kings”.
9/20/2015: A return to the area known alternatively as “Forest of the Kings” and “Giant’s Forest”. Two giant Douglas-Firs are measured with the owner of part of the forest, Mr. William Copren. One, the “Chuck Hardesty Tree”, becomes the largest Doug-Fir known in the two counties and my personal favorite big tree.
9/30/2015: On Grandpa and Grandma’s final meet-up of the year with Sharon, I accompany them to measure the Sugar in Goodyears’ Bar. It becomes the largest known tree in the county.
10/17/2015: A trek looking for a grove of Giant Sequoias planted on the Yuba Pass in the 1960s by Chuck Hardesty. We didn’t find the sequoias, but we did locate two giant Western White Pines and a giant Red Fir. One Western White and the Fir went on to become County Records.
11/6/2015: The locating of the “Collins Pine”, largest known tree of Plumas, Sierra and Tehama Counties, by Michael Taylor and myself. The tree’s exact location will remain undisclosed to respect the Collins Pine Company’s wishes about the tree’s secrecy.
11/22/2015: The year’s final tree measuring day; Michael Taylor teaches me how to use the Criterion 400 forestry laser that he gave me on a trip to measure the height of the “Grandfather Giant” in Goodyears’ Bar. The tree turns out to be 31′ taller than the previous measurement.
And that was 2015. A great first year for the project, and hopefully 2016 will be even better. Thanks goes to Jennifer Kennedy, Christian Kennedy, William Harnach and Nancy Harnach for their constant support. Thanks also goes to Gregg Scott, for interviewing me, drafting up, and then publishing a news story that has boosted the number of tree reports I have been getting, to Michael Taylor for his mentorship and the Criterion 400 laser, to B.J Jordan and Michael Hogan for their interest and to William Copren for his tour of the giant Douglas-Firs and access to his tract of forest. If I’m forgetting anyone, please feel free to leave a comment.
Happy New Year,