Grove of TITANS: Redwoods

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by M. D. Vaden, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    So, I figured out a fun adventure for this week - to attempt anyway.

    Going on a tree hunt for the Grove of Titans redwoods, like the Lost Monarch, Screaming Titans and a few others.

    If I find them, I'll post a photo. If I don't find them, there's always another day.

    Article in Orion...

    http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/234/

    One thing is for certain, there are a lot of variables to find something that the location of is kept secret. A lot of people who might like to find them, won't like bleeding from thick brush scatches, avoiding poison-oak or climbing over huge redwood log piles in an area where cougar or bear may roam.

    Link below to a page about The Wild Trees, included image of the Lost Monarch and more in the photo gallery ...

    http://www.richardpreston.net/books/wt.html
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    thats cool Mario, send us some pics if you make it! :)
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Even if you don't find the trees, post the pics from the adventure.
     
  4. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Well, we did get some pics of different stuff. It took us 6 hours to bushwhack into the forest about 1.5 miles and get back out. We found one area on the return of our loop that may match the "glade" description of the area, and noticed one tree from a distance that may be the "Screaming Titan". Our legs and ankles were so tired and wet, we decided to come back in a few weeks and look at the area with a measuring tape. So I won't know if we found the area or not until then. The weather was excellent. Started around 40 F. and when we left and went to Crescent City, California for burgers, it was 60 F.

    A few images below. Not sure what the fungi name is - biggest I've seen of that type. The big trunk behind my son is not Titan size, but one we passed shortly after entering the forest - we passed quite a few that large. The burl / canker in one image is absolutely enormous - about 9' in diameter and virtually encircles the whole trunk, which is straight and normal looking above the growth. One photo shows one side of a huge group of redwoods forming sort of a "cathedral".
     

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  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Very nice! That one with the boy in front is huge! And I like the 2m high ferns (Polystichum munitum I presume?).
     
  6. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Gosh, those are big trees.
     
  7. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Seems the redwoods are even bigger than I imaged, even after hiking in that area. I was surprised when I read that "The Lost Monarch" in Jedediah Smith Redwoods has a wider trunk base than the General Sherman giant Sequioa.

    In the book The Wild Trees which I'm just about finished reading, some old records are referred to about a redwood or redwoods being logged from there, that apparently were larger than General Sherman for mass.

    In other words, until the logging, some coast or California redwoods would have been the most massive trees. Now that I didn't realize.

    One part of the book that was notable, referred to period during Carter's Presidency, when it was just a matter of days until the status of one forest / park area would change, and cutting would not be allowed anymore. So the logging companies, knowing the only exception was that they could harvest only what lay on the ground, sent crews on a mad-dash final assuault to drop as many valuable redwoods as possible before the clock ran out.
     
  8. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    So....

    Turns out that I did find the Grove of Titans. But I can't share what scrap of information I found that let me know for sure.

    For now, my short giant tree hunting experience will be listed on this page:

    http://www.mdvaden.com/grove_of_titans.shtml

    Not one clue of image is provided there (yet) besides whatever Mr. Preston already published in his The Wild Trees (which is very interesting).

    Only one tip of advice is offered on that page for anyone curious enough to consider the task of finding the giant redwoods.

    Personally, I think that one more trail should be constructed through that Jed Smith Redwoods State Park to connect Hatton Trail with the Boy Scout Tree trail, offering a loop route and a way to get through the center. I doubt the extra trail would really offer people better odds of finding the titans, since a trail like that would still leave huge 4 or 5 square mile sections. 99.99% of visitors seem to stick to the trails and the highway.

    If someone could experience the density, they may understand why there is no trail through the middle. I suspect that to survey the interior was beyond what most workers would care to deal with, to plan a path for a trail. But it's not impossible.

    It's the only forest I've been in, where snowshoes could have been useful for a few areas of the forest floor debris - commented on in that page link provided. But if you have walked on January snow up on Mt. Rainer or Mt. Hood before, and fell through every now and then, you get the idea.
     
  9. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i wondered if you'd find it or not.

    thank you for posting the pics. i'm speechless. phenomenal doesn't even get near enough to cover it.
     
  10. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    It just happened that I had paused to rest and was staring into a gap of space for a couple of minutes, not even looking for the grove. We were exhausted.

    Then one tree caught my eye - one of the Titans.

    So oddly, I spotted it when I was not actually paying attention.
     
  11. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    well, i'd think they'd be pretty hard to miss - whether you were concentrating or not!!!! :)

    can you post any pics of them?? i mean, it's not like we're going to figure out where from a pic...

    plus, i'd like to see how they compare to the other pics of the smaller trees - which are so humongous to begin with...
     
  12. LabTea

    LabTea Active Member

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    Wow! It took some passion and dedication to search this one out. A great story and some great pictures to go with it. Good stuff Vaden!
     
  13. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Secret Redwoods Found

    It can be trickier than it seems.

    The ones that are the largest in the park, may not have the widest bases. With some, their trunks don't taper. So one with a wide base like the Stout Tree, may be smaller than one with a narrower base, but a trunk that maintains a massive stove-pipe shape with no taper.

    Also, it's not like these are giants among Hemlocks. These are giants among other huge trees. And when looking 200 to 300 feet away, between other huge dark trunks, it's uncertain if a tree on the other side of a chasm is really as big or small as it seems. The trunks are not always round, and one view may make a tree look smaller, while the view of it's wider dimension is not even available.

    Now I understand why the really super-committed big tree hunters spend years bushwhacking looking for these things.

    This hunt was plenty for me. I'll explore again, that's for sure. But I won't be going further south to find Hyperion, which although it's much, much younger, is the tallest KNOWN tree in the world, between 379 and 380 feet.

    Hyperion was just found in the past couple of years.

    I'm certain I could find it if I tried hard enough and spent the time. But I'm just not interested. One, I like most of the forest in general. Second, this last hunt was on the verge of being a brutal bushwhacking experience.

    Even the tree scientist Dr. Sillett finally bailed-out on looking for the tallest tree with Taylor, due to how tough the terrain and rainforest is to get through. But Taylor endured, found the tree with another man names Atkins I think, and finally Sillett went to climb and measure because the finding part was done.

    And best I know, this man Taylor, whose wealthy father helped get Costco rooted in California, still has not quit going into other uncharted redwood forest. He probably won't quit until he has covered every square meter of old growth. Quite the culture change. Taylor used to fly with his dad and family in their own private jet to go to football games, or eat dinner in another city, and now he is an electrical engineer, with some forestry education, and a regular hobby work of hunting and measuring redwoods.
     
  14. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Okay, our quick measurement today came up with 23.55 diameter DBH - so that should be Del Norte Titan.

    What I found listed for it online was 23.6 feet diameter - close enough.

    It was rainy and grey during today's bushwhacking, but here's one image.

    This includes no more visual details that what's been published already. Should be a safe photo to post.
     

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  15. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    that's one humongous tree!!

    when i was reading about this the other day and watched the national geo thing where they climbed up the tallest one to get a measurement, i was trying to visualize just how big. the pics give an idea - still, they're nothing unless you see it in person (especially if you're a visual/spacial person like i am).

    so, in trying to make a correlation to something, i realized that the trees' diameter is a little more than the width of my house and the one next door (it's a twin/duplex/whatever you want to call it). that is a LOT of space to take up!! i mean, without seeing it in person, i was just trying to get a real feel for what the size of it is. i can certainly see why it's the biggest/most massive. it's almost incomprehensible that these trees are that large!

    wow!

    and then there's the height. i thought about that and tried to picture it by using the street and the blocks - dang!!

    i've seen some pretty large (diameter) trees and some really tall ones around here and in other places i've visited. i even saw some really tall old castles/lookout towers in ireland (one was over 200 feet. now, how'd they build THAT 700 + years ago?? ) nothing compares to these titans. they don't even come close!

    once i put it out by using the street/blocks, i had a decent idea. it's mindboggling that anything could grow so large! kind of gives you a real heads-up on how insignificant you are in the whole scheme of things, ya know?

    i'm so glad you posted about this!! i remember hearing about them when they were found - had forgotten about them, though.

    i hope i can get over there some day to, at the least, see the forest/state park. i don't know if i'll be able to do all the hiking/searching for the titans. just to see any of these phenomenal feats of nature in person would be enough...

    yes, it certainly would be better to say i'd found the titans, wouldn't be necessary though. just to know that they are there and have been for more than a millenia is plenty.
     
  16. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    An accurate drawing showing the entire tree, two color photographs - one showing the forking of the trunk, the other the lowest part (base to branches) and a full account of the tree can be found on pp. 18-19 of Van Pelt, FOREST GIANTS OF THE PACIFIC COAST (2001, Global Forest/Washington):

    "The largest known redwood remained unknown until May 1998, when Michael Taylor and Steve Sillett stumbled across it after a long day of exploration in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. The date was May 11, truly a historic day in big-tree history, commemorated as the Day of Discovery. After an all-day bushwhack through the heart of Jedediah Smith, and after finding the largest known Douglas fir in California, the exhausted pair entered what is now known as the Grove of Titans..."
     
  17. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    I also used an image of Van Pelt's that was online, to take with us for comparison. Same tree - same bark furrows - same trunk flare. That's why I was not planning to put images of other Titans online, except maybe The Lost Monarch sometime, since it's published too.

    The lack of gear that Sillett and Taylor carried was a bit risky.
     
  18. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    many many tanks for this pics ...grazie Mario!!
     
  19. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    If you go to James Balog's site, click on Tree (top row, second column), and then wait for the images to load, you can see his "photograph" of Stratosphere Giant from Humboldt.
     
  20. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    thanks, daniel!!

    wow!! balog is an excellent photog! AND i love the way the site is set up! thanks!
     
  21. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    ......my "ash "on the foot of this Tiitan.....
    P.S. tanks Daniel!
     
  22. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Er, what second column?? There's no link named 'Tree' at all! Here's a printscreen showing all I get:
     

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  23. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    The link & Daniel's instructions do get you there. If it's not working for you, either the site was down when you tried or something is wrong with your ISP or computer.

    Simon
     
  24. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If you have a script blocker running, temporarily disable it. That's what I had to do. The redwood is at/near the end of a slide-show style section that has to be clicked through.
     
  25. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Was camping at the Oregon coast this past weekend, and exploring in the redwoods again; almost as usual. Awesome weather too.

    Anyhow, I got more photos. The flip-side of the tree below, looks very much like a small image I saw of The Lost Monarch. But I didn't have anything to measure with to be sure. But for a fact, it's one of the Titans in the Grove of Titans.

    Here is a vertical panorama photo stitch. I think this is a very stately looking tree...
     

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