The largest pine in Tehama County: the Collins Pine

Hello all,

Day before yesterday, on Friday November 6th, 2015, I got up early and left fairly early to go meet Michael Taylor, discoverer of the world’s tallest tree, and to go look for a supposed 9′ DBH Ponderosa pine, which would break the DBH record held by the La Pine Giant in Deschutes County, OR. We got to Almanor (location of the Collins Pine kept secret to respect the wishes of the Collins Pine Company, who owns the land) at about 11, and met Michael Taylor at 11:15. I got to talk to him, and he wants to send me a copy of Bob van Pelt’s Forest Giants of the Pacific Coast, which can be considered the quintessential big tree book. As it turned out, he had already found the tree, having gotten up at O’dark:30 (our joke about really early in the morning) thanks to insomnia from a toothache. He had to head back home to schedule a dentist’s appointment, but getting to meet him was amazing. After all, it makes one very happy when he or she meets one of their personal heroes.

Anyway, we set out up the road (exact location undisclosed) to find the pine. When we finally found it, we measured the monstrosity. It has an 8.36′ DBH, a 26′ 3.5″ CBH and a 147.0′ H (as measured within 0.5″ by Michael Taylor with laser rangefinder) and a volume (as measured with relascope by Michael Taylor) of 4,327 cubic feet, a number 8 for the species and one of the few 8’+ DBH pines known. Then it was back down the road to home. Now for photos:

Very nice black and white of Mom and Grandpa.
Very nice black and white of Mom and Grandpa.
Full trunk view of the Collins Pine. Made by stitching seven photos together.
Full trunk view of the Collins Pine. Made by stitching seven photos together.
Tape wrap photo. Number reads 26' 3.5
Tape wrap photo. Number reads 26′ 3.5″ CBH.
First view of the Collins Pine from afar. Tiny Me standing 5' 4
First view of the Collins Pine from afar. Tiny Me standing 5′ 4″ tall next to it.
Large burnt-out hollow near base.  there are two, and both are about 3 feet wide and 2 feet high.
Large burnt-out hollow near base. there are two, and both are about 3 feet wide and 2 feet high.

I’d also like to thank the following people for this expedition for various reasons:  Michael Taylor, Jennifer Kennedy, William Harnach, Jay Francis, Gregg Scott and the loggers who first spied and then saved this tree in the 1920s (or thereabouts).

Duncan

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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.

Big Tree hunting at Giant’s Forest again on 9/20/15

Hello again,

This brings us up-to-date as of this writing.  On September 20th, 2015 we went big tree hunting with the owner of part of the Giant’s Forest, Bill Copren.  He took us up to measure a big Coast Douglas-Fir (Pseudotsuga Menziesii), with a Bird of Prey nest in the top.  It was 21′ 9″ around, or a DBH (Diameter at Breast Height) of 6.92′.  Then, after wandering around a bunch down to look at some other, smaller trees, we measured another Douglas-Fir.  This one came with a name: the Chuck Hardesty Tree, named after the late Charles Hardesty, who, as a scaler in the U.S Forest Service in the 1950s, said “Leave this tree; it’s too big and too beautiful”.  The Hardesty Tree measured out at 22′ 0″, equaling a 7.00′ DBH.  I also learned the name of the area with the two big pines and the big cedar, described in the last post.  It is known as Pasquetti Park, named after the family that was responsible for building the road.  The Hardesty tree had limbs on it that were as big as smaller trees (2.6′ est. DBH).  I don’t know this for a fact, but the Hardesty tree may be the largest Coast Douglas-Fir on the arid Eastern Sierra Nevada slope.  Now for the fun part:  Pictures!!

Mom next to the first Doug-Fir. She can reach 6′ 5″, that being the height of her fingertips from the ground.
Looking up the trunk of the first tree.
Looking up the trunk of the first tree.
Woodpecker damage on the first tree.
Woodpecker damage on the first tree.
A closer zoom of Mom next to the Hardesty Tree.
A closer zoom of Mom next to the Hardesty Tree.
Mom next to the Hardesty Tree.
Mom next to the Hardesty Tree.
The crown of the Hardesty Tree.
The crown of the Hardesty Tree.

And that brings us up to date. Thanks for reading!

Duncan.

Discovery of the very large: Giant’s Forest

August 8th, the day we discovered Giant’s Forest, started with a day outing where my sister and I went with our grandparents on a hike.  After the long and adventurous hike, we got in the car and headed across a back road to check out a Red Fir (Abies Magnifica) that Grandpa had discovered earlier in the summer.  We measured it out at 17′ 0″ around, or a 5.41 foot diameter.  As we wandered back home in disappointment, suddenly I spotted a tree.  “Stop the car!” I yelled, and we stopped about 40 feet from an enormous Sugar Pine (Pinus Lambertiana).  We measured it at 22′ 4″ around, or a 7.08′ diameter.  Then nearby, we saw a very large Incense-Cedar (Calocedrus Decurrens).  It was measured at 18′ 6″ around, or 5.88′ in diameter.  This cedar had a burnt cavity in the bottom big enough for my 4′ 7″ tall sister to stand in comfortably.  Then nearby that Cedar, we found a large Ponderosa Pine.  It was 17′ 10″ around, or a diameter of 5.66 feet.  Afterwards, we measured the distance to the highway so that we could find a way to get back.  Here are some pictures:

Grandpa next to the Sugar Pine.  Note that from the ground to the tip of his fingers in this photo is 8 feet.
Grandpa next to the Sugar Pine. Note that from the ground to the tip of his fingers in this photo is 8 feet.

 

Grandpa again. His arm span is 8 feet, and distance to the top of his head is 6′ 4″.
My sister and grandmother next to the big cedar. Jade is 4′ 7″, and Grandma is 4′ 11″.
Jade next to the cedar from a distance of 50'.
Jade next to the cedar from a distance of 50′.
Grandma and Jade next to the Ponderosa.
Grandma and Jade next to the Ponderosa.
More of Jade and Grandma next to the Ponderosa.
More of Jade and Grandma next to the Ponderosa.

Cheers,

Duncan

The Beginning of it all: Olympic NP, WA

It all started with the first family vacation in 10 Years, to the rainforests of Olympic National Park, in Washington.  This place is home to some of the most magnificent old-growth forest in the world.  Here are some pictures of trees from the trip:

Three Hemlocks and a Stump, appearing to be one whole tree, Hoh Rain Forest.
Three Hemlocks and a Stump, appearing to be one whole tree, Hoh Rain Forest.
DSCN5020
Dad – height 5′ 8″ – walking under a tree root arch at the Kalaloch Big Cedar.
Big Maple covered in Moss, Hoh Rain Forest.
Big Maple covered in Moss, Hoh Rain Forest.
More of the Big Cedar.
More of the Big Cedar.
Spruce Tree Root Cave, Hoh Rain Forest.
Spruce Tree Root Cave, Hoh Rain Forest.
Trail going under two Douglas-Firs, Hoh Rain Forest.
Trail going under two Douglas-Firs, Hoh Rain Forest.

After we returned, I was talking about how awesome the trees were, when Grandpa came to me with the idea of doing a local big tree measuring project. I found that to be a very good idea. And thus, The Sierra County Big Trees Project was born.

Happy tree hunting,

Duncan

A Hello and Introduction to SCBTP

Hello there,

My name is Duncan, and I run the Sierra County Big Trees Project.  As of Late September, 2015, this project has been ongoing since June.  Since I have yet to create any posts to update the watchers of this site (if there are any), I shall make a bunch of posts to document what has happened in the several months between its inception and this post.  Anyway, thanks for stopping by, and please, take a look around. Also, if you would like to contact me by eMail with info, historical photos or other such things then please sent stuff to me at Duncan(at)Mainecoon.com. Please replace (at) with @, as this was done to thwart spammers.

Thanks,

Duncan