Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Measurements Begin!

I stopped by the hardware store on the way home from work last night and bought a measuring tape, some duct tape, and some ribbon. The goal of course is to start measuring the trunks of the trees for fun. The ribbon is so I don't get lost walking off trail. I had an hour to kill before work today so I set off to measure my first tree. I stopped by Jackson Demonstration Forest and walked along one of the first trails I hiked when I moved to the area. It's been a while since I hiked here and I was impressed with the size of some of the trees. I was hoping to measure the biggest redwood I saw during my walk. When I found the perfect candidate, I discovered that the back side of the tree was completely hollow and burned out. Supposedly this is pretty common with some of the very old trees. I decided not to measure it.
Nearby was an impressive Douglas Fir which I shall name Douglas Ferocious. Douglas Ferocious measured in with a circumference of 16 feet, 8 inches.
I was quickly running out of time, so I measured one redwood. From what I could tell, it was the largest tree I saw during my hike. I will call this tree the Jackson Giant. The Jackson Giant measured in with a circumference of 24 feet, 5 inches. Of course this is far from an exact science. As you can see, I was standing on quite a slope, so on one side of the tree, the tape was low to the ground while the other side was pretty high. Also the bark is pretty knobby so the tape can be shortened or extended depending on the surface. So the measurements will all be rough estimates. What does it all mean? I don't really know. But the bar has been set! There are plenty of larger redwoods and Douglas Firs to be measured!

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