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TOPIC: The world's second tallest tree found in Tasmania

The world's second tallest tree found in Tasmania 5 years 9 months ago #132280

  • apsasine
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The world's second tallest tree has been found by Tasmanian foresters and it was less just three miles from a popular tourist attraction, the Tahune Airwalk. The giant 331-foot swamp gum tree is second only to a giant coast redwood in the Redwood National Park in California that stands at 115 meters or about 378 feet. The Tasmanian tree, estimated to be about 400 years old, has been aptly named Centurion which is a Roman officer in charge of 100 soldiers. The tree was found using airborne laser scanning which reflects laser signals off the canopy of the trees. Centurion will also go into the record books as the tallest hardwood tree in the world, the tallest eucalyptus in the world and the tallest flowering tree in the world. Forestry Tasmania plans to make the majestic beauty accessible to the public with a boardwalk and other facilities. Forestry Tasmania's resource information manager, David Mannes, said, \"It is hard to believe it has been here so long without us even knowing.\"
Last Edit: 5 years 9 months ago by apsasine.
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Re:The world's second tallest tree found in Tasmania 5 years 9 months ago #132281

That's amazing! It just beats the tallest Douglas Fir into 3rd place. Of course the tallest tree ever recorded was a Eucalyptus, reportedly over 140m tall! (It fell over a century ago, I think.)

Michael
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Re:The world's second tallest tree found in Tasmania 5 years 9 months ago #132292

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apsasine wrote:
The world's second tallest tree has been found by Tasmanian foresters

Great news, just wanted to clarify that Eucalyptus regnans is now the second tallest tree species on the planet, not the second tallest tree.

Interesting that they located the tree by laser scanning from an airplane, I guess the days of ground based exploration by the likes of Michael Taylor are going to fade, it will become a race now to use airplane surveys to round up the last possible tallest trees on the planet.
-moss
Last Edit: 5 years 9 months ago by moss.
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Re:The world's second tallest tree found in Tasmania 5 years 9 months ago #132293

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Re:The world's second tallest tree found in Tasmania 5 years 9 months ago #132294

moss wrote:

Interesting that they located the tree by laser scanning from an airplane, I guess the days of ground based exploration by the likes of Michael Taylor are going to fade, it will become a race now to use airplane surveys to round up the last possible tallest trees on the planet.
-moss

I'm not so sure Taylor and Atkins will out of a job just yet. There may be problems getting any reflections back from the ground when the canopy is extremely dense, such as in old growth rainforests including, of course, Redwood forests. So deducing tree heights may still need to be done from the ground in these cases, unless something similar to sonar can be used to distinguish solid ground from the rather less dense canopy above. Even this could be probematic due to the amount of organic debris built up on the ground over centuries but it would give a rough indication of stands of trees, which need further investigation.

Michael
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Re:The world's second tallest tree found in Tasmania 5 years 9 months ago #132301

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The LIDAR returns for Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Redwood National Park/Prairie Creek and Del Norte/Jed Smith have been processed for trees over 106m (348')...yielding hundreds more unknown tall trees not yet discovered.

I have spent much of this Summer tracking these LIDAR target trees down using GPS and survey laser and I can confirm that the LIDAR found many trees that Chris and myself would NEVER have found using ground based searches because they grow in areas that were too remote and/or seemed too unlikely to have tall trees. Using the LIDAR data, we found several 360'+ redwoods growing WAY above any river flat... way up there in \"high perched benches\"...always with a spring flowing through to provide unlimited water. The LIDAR returns are rewriting the books in terms of ability to scan large tracts of forests fairly accurately. The LIDAR returns found in a single day in Redwood National Park, what a lifetime of searching by ground would yield. This is the truth. However, many of these LIDAR target trees were NOT accurately measured, especially when the tree's top is leaning relative to a steep slope. We have found that nearly every tall LIDAR hit tree that was growing on a steep slope was over-estimated, sometimes by 7 meters or more. On 113.7m hit that took all day to bushwhack to turned out to be only 106m. Nevertheless, we have found many new super tall trees, sometimes in places that just defy logic !

In order to verify whether the tree is tall these LIDAR targets must be investigated from ground and trees given a laser based measurement or direct measurement. Sometimes it can take an entire day just to reach a single tree due to extreme remoteness and inaccessibility of terrain.

In Tasmania, the dense tree fern canopy can be penetrated by the LIDAR. Typically, LIDAR will slightly underestimate tree heights in both redwood forest and in E. Regnans old growth forest to true ground level not being detectable around cluttered tree bases. Additional refinement of the true ground level can be accomplished with careful processing of the lIDAR data.

Michael Taylor
Last Edit: 5 years 9 months ago by hyperion.
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Re:The world's second tallest tree found in Tasmania 5 years 9 months ago #132302

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One last note......the LIDAR results did not miss a single tall known redwood over 108m. The LIDAR found EVERYTHING. Also, Centurion is going to be climbed today by Tom Greenwood and Brett Misfud and Forestry Tasmania will be there with them to provide support. I think Centurion will turn out to be closer to 102m when directly measured. You would need to get a mile back to hit the true top of Centurion with a laser. I bet Forestry Tasmania's measurement is conservative. I will post an update when I hear back from the group.

Michael T.
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Re:The world's second tallest tree found in Tasmania 5 years 9 months ago #132305

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Glad to hear you're not out of a job Michael! Sounds like LIDAR is opening up new possibilities for your quest. Thanks for sharing the details.
-moss
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Re:The world's second tallest tree found in Tasmania 5 years 9 months ago #132306

Thankyou for keeping us updated via this board, Michael - we really do appreciate it. I for one have been fascinated by the world's tall trees since I was a child (of course all of the photos were in black and white in those days :laugh: )

These are very exciting times!

Michael
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Nearly all 80m+ regnans in Victoria torched ! 5 years 4 months ago #133360

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Steve Sillett and crew are back in Australia to access the carnage from the recent fires in New South Wales, specifically the protected catchment basins of Wallaby Creek, O'Shaunnessey and Maroondah. The tallest eucalyptus of Australias's mainland grow in these areas which have been extensively explored in recent years. Reports from Brett Mifsud indicate an intentional fire was set near mount disapointment and fire crews were not able to prevent from going into the protected old growth of Wallaby Creek, which is without any question, the finest Regnans forest in existence. Understory of the area was reportedly completely incinerated, which would indicate all regnans in basin are now dead. The radiant heat was too hot for these trees to tolerate.

Attached is an aerial photograph of Wallaby from above, post fire from airplane. Another attached photograph is Wallaby Creek pre-fire, showing the endless sea of gigantic columnar ivory white trunks, as seen from 180 feet up a regnans. Notive the tiny figure of Brett Mifsud standing just left of the first large white trunk (look for the white shirt).. This gives good scale of how giant these trees were.

Preliminary reports by Brett indicate there are no trees over 90 meters in mainland Australia...all gone now. Tallest is 1926 regrowth near Beenack....86m tree there is growing fast. Also killed by fire was a 90m e. nitens in O'Shaunessey.
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Re:The world's second tallest tree found in Tasmania 5 years 4 months ago #133361

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The attached are the pictures that did not properly download the first time. The attached word document was provided by Brett Mifsud, showing all the known tallest trees of Australia before and after. I must warn you, it's depressing to view this list. Not a single tree over 86m survives in mainland Australia. Tasmania was not affected by fire this year. Centurion will soon be climbed for a 2nd time. First climb yielded 99m, but climber Tom Greenwood thinks he missed the high point in the center, as shown by LIDAR image returns...see attached. Greenwood measured a sprig on the edge of the tree, but the center is higher according to LIDAR. Sillett will measure the center portion in a few weeks. Centerion is most likely over 100 meters, but just barely. I will keep this site updated.

Michael Taylor
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Re:The world's second tallest tree found in Tasmania 5 years 4 months ago #133362

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Here are the pictures again. Having a problem uploading. I had to make them smaller. I also attached the Word document which highlights the initial damage survey.

Attachment Potential_bushfire_losses_feb_2009.doc not found

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Re:The world's second tallest tree found in Tasmania 5 years 4 months ago #133363

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even smaller pictures
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Re:The world's second tallest tree found in Tasmania 5 years 4 months ago #133364

Hi Michael,

That is terrible news. I was going to try to be optimistic and say that at least Eucalypts grow fast but some of those on the list are 3-400 years old :(

If you want to post pictures the limits are: 1 picture per post and max. size 640 pixels high x 480 pixels wide.

On a happier note, I can report that 3 of the tallest trees in the UK were climbed and measured last month (see my report in the 'International' section of this forum). I wasn't one of the climbers this time (sadly!) but was able to advise the team on the most gentle and accurate climbing/measuring methods.

I'm currently using radar data submitted at a recent ForestSAT conference to check out areas of the Coed-y-Brenin Forest in Wales, where areas of Sitka Spruce planted in deep ravines are approaching the heights of the champion Douglas Firs in Scotland. They may become the tallest trees in N. Europe in the next few years...

Michael
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