Champion Tree Searching - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-19-2010, 11:00 PM   #1
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When we travel we like to find champion trees:

http://www.americanforests.org/resources/bigtrees/ is one listing.

So far we've seen:

Morton Bay Fig, San Diego, CA (didn't have to go on a camping trip to see this)
Honeylocust, Panaca, NV (state record)
Coast Douglas-fir, Olympic National Forest, WA
a large Ponderosa in Scofield Canyon, NV (isn't on the list)
the redwoods of Sequoia National Park
the bristlecones of Great Basin National Park, NV and the White Mountains, CA
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:26 PM   #2
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Here in WI I searched and searched for the champion Butternut tree out by us. Alas, it had died They have some sort of disease. The 'new' champion tree is in the city of Madison.
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Old 04-20-2010, 09:13 AM   #3
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Here in WI I searched and searched for the champion Butternut tree out by us. Alas, it had died
Hearbreaking! Was it still there to see? Or in town and removed because it needed to be replaced?

We were hiking in Great Basin National Park and had heard the story of "Prometheus", the oldest tree on earth that had been cut down to count its rings (they didn't know it was the oldest when it was cut). We came across the remnants of a bristlecone pine that had been cut down and cut up. There were still large pieces on the ground there about 11,000 feet in elevation and a long way from any road. We just stood there and stared and stared. It was amazing to contemplate that the tree was "born" some 5,000 years ago and then we were overwhelmed with sadness at thinking that mankind had ended its life.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:25 AM   #4
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I thought they could drill a core from a tree and count the rings that way. To cut it down to count the rings seems stupid to me.
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:21 PM   #5
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I thought they could drill a core from a tree and count the rings that way. To cut it down to count the rings seems stupid to me.
The whole story is a little longer that I mentioned before. At first the student got permission to core the tree, then his corer broke in the tree. He then got permission from the Forrest Service to cut the tree down to complete his study. The Forrest Service was in attendance and as I understand it, the first person on the saw crew chosen to do the cutting refused to cut the stately tree so they had to get someone else to do the deed (actually several people shared the task).

The good news is that this tale, among others, helped get the Forrest Service land committed for National Park status. A very good book covering this history is, Great Basin Drama, The Story of a National Park, by Darwin Lambert.

You're right, though, that they usually core the trees w/o much harm. Because this tree was sooo old and contorted, it was very complicated to core and then the corer broke in that hard wood. The location of the now oldest bristlecone is kept secret (in the White Mountains of CA). You can visit the grove, but not THE TREE.
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:51 PM   #6
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We attended a "Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival" in Atlanta last month and there was a video of a search for the Oregon Champion tree titled "Ascending the Giants". It was an interesting movie. There's a teaser at this website;
http://www.ascendingthegiants.com/
And a list of some champion trees around the world;
http://ascendingthegiants.org/champion-tree.html

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Old 04-20-2010, 11:02 PM   #7
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The Butternut was on the ground and pretty deteriorated, but the farmer explained how big it used to be.

I, too, visited the White Mountains, on the CA/NV border. Did a lot of camping in CA, when I was in the Navy. The White Mountains are great and not as crowded. Hope to see them again some day. My favorite place was Arroyo Salado, because I wanted to get as far away from ocean waves after being at sea.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:07 AM   #8
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We like looking for big trees also, thanks for the web site, we'll make our search more 'official'!

Come back to Washington! We have many more than the Doug Fir you saw. Here's an interesting little article:
Giants of the Olympic Peninsula

Here's an official guide that can be download with info:

Quinault Rain Forest

Which says "The Quinault Valley has six champion conifer trees! These trees are recognized by the National Forestry Association as the largest living specimens of their species. These giants have only the redwoods and sequoias to look up to."
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:51 AM   #9
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Hi: All...When we're out hiking I'm always on the lookout for a big tree, but not for historical purposes
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:05 AM   #10
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This is the Champion Butternut Tree for the state of WI. They are getting pretty rare because of a disease.
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:14 PM   #11
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big tree hunting is fun! two places come to mind the Joyce Kilmer Foresst,(in honor of the auther' I never saw a poem as lovely as a tree") home of the biggest poplars going, spectacular trees, located just west of robinsville nc, the western side of nc. Another untold secret is Cook's Forest, in NW Pa on rt 66 north of 80. Virgin white Pines, may not be the biggest, but they are close. The state champion poplar of Tn, is located in another secret, a federal park WITHIN, the great smokies, its called Greenbrier, on 321 between Gatlinburg and Cosby. At this park is also a great hike (8 miles round trip) to a beautiful water falls.
Another thing we have found inthe great smokies is a book about scavenger hunts along the trails. Basically as you walk it directs you to old fence lines and house foundations, grave sites, one even has an old steam tractor in a stream that must have fell off the mountain side when the area was logged
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