Finding the Floyd Otter Tree - #3 Giant Sequoia

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Re: Finding the Floyd Otter Tree - #3 Giant Sequoia

Post by Mradford » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:13 am

Such a cool trip report. And you're right not too many reports about the lower west side. Thanks for posting about such an interesting topic!








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Re: Finding the Floyd Otter Tree - #3 Giant Sequoia

Post by Hardscrabble » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:51 pm

There were four of us that located & measured the Floyd Otter Tree in 2001. Art Crowley, ,who ran the big tree program for SAF, Jim Chelebda, Mike Reed & myself. Art is dead now & Jim Chelebda is pretty close from what I hear. We came over from Mt. Home, up to Moses Mt. & west along the Dennison ridge. The primary purpose of the trip was to check out equipment for the forthcoming Search for the Phantom of Homer's Nose. We were looking for a reasonably large tree to try out theodolite measurements & data reduction techniques.

The saddle on the Dennison ridge between the kaweah & Tule drainages is just uphill & south of the Floyd Otter Tree & is one of the nicest places I have been. There is a spring just northeast.

Lambertiana has seen this tree & has the most up-to-date information. The questions that have been raised about possible confusion with the King Arthur tree are the same questions I have. I don't have any answers or any decent hypotheses.

Check it out!

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Re: Finding the Floyd Otter Tree - #3 Giant Sequoia

Post by maverick » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:48 pm

Welcome to HST Hardscrabble! Thank you for the information you provided to this thread.
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Re: Finding the Floyd Otter Tree - #3 Giant Sequoia

Post by AfterSeven » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:31 pm

Hi Hardscrabble, Welcome aboard!

What was the ground perimeter height and volume... and diameter at 60/120/180 that you came up with? Did you ever issue a press release? How did you deal with Giant Burns down below in your calculations? Why doesn't the park service acknowledge the tree as #3 or even list it...if you know?

There was a tree listed in Dept of Interior reports from 1900 - 1925 as the "California Tree" in the Garfield Grove with a 30' diameter (presumably at ground level) and 260' high... did you see any sign that this tree had been recognized by previous generations...(Trail Proximity, Plaque Mounts, Carvings in the trunk?)

I'll be sure to check it out when it cools down a bit on the South Fork.

How did you do with the search for the Phantom? Did you end up checking out the large trees of Homers Nose, Board Camp, South Fork and Eden Creek? If so were there any approaches to these groves you found favorable or any approaches you would advise against at all costs? how'd you deal with the low elevation walls of poison oak?

Sorry for all the questions...Cheers!
A7
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Re: Finding the Floyd Otter Tree - #3 Giant Sequoia

Post by sparky » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:42 pm

I have a pretty good idea why this tree is a mystery, and I think it is better that way. :nod:

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Re: Finding the Floyd Otter Tree - #3 Giant Sequoia

Post by Hardscrabble » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:25 pm

In answer to Afterseven's questions, the burn was taken care of by treating the lowest cross section of the tree as an ellipse, tapering to a circle at the first break. We had a diameter measured with the theodolite across the tree on the contour & a circumference measured with a tape. It was not a circle. I am more concerned about how to handle the butresses between the upper ground level & the lower ground level. I did the best I could with what I had at the time. I would like to repeat the measurements with someone who is familiar with measuring trees. I didn't take diameters at any specific heights but tried to see where the taper changed slope.

I sent a copy of my calcs to Nate Stevenson at the park & will send them to you if you will get me your e-mail address. call 287-2399.

I found no evidence of previous work around the tree.

We came in from Mt. Home, up the Wishon fork of the Tule to Tuohy Gap & then along Dennison ridge to the saddle & then down to the tree. There is an old trail from Touhy Gap west & down to the South fork (Kaweah) Ranger Station but we missed it along the ridge because we were too high. We didn't find any poison oak until we got way down to the Kaweah, but avoided it by staying on the trail. I have some better info on the old Dennison Trail if you intend to go that way.

Hardscrabble

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Re: Finding the Floyd Otter Tree - #3 Giant Sequoia

Post by ERIC » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:44 am

http://www.californiareport.org/archive/R201208290850/b" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Good exposure, and good interview. Assuming that was you, lambertiana? :)
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Re: Finding the Floyd Otter Tree - #3 Giant Sequoia

Post by lambertiana » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:53 pm

No, that wasn't me.

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Re: Finding the Floyd Otter Tree - #3 Giant Sequoia

Post by ERIC » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:31 pm

Whoops, sorry. But wow, quite the coincidence....scout groups, hidden Sequoia groves...the timing of this thread vs. the NPR piece.... Hopefully you at least see what might have prompted me to try to make that connection.. :D
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Re: Finding the Floyd Otter Tree - #3 Giant Sequoia

Post by Hetch Hetchy 1900 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:42 pm

I have seen the references to the "California Tree" in the Garfield Grove in old Interior Department documents. It very well may be the same tree as the Floyd Otter Tree, but who knows for sure?! As I remember, the government documents referred to the "California Tree" as the largest tree in the Garfield Grove. Given that back in those days, more emphasis was placed on base diameter as opposed to calculated volume when determining the relative size of trees, the California Tree and the Otter Tree may very well be the same tree since the photos of the Otter Tree show a large basal swell.

I also wonder why the Park Service does not at least add the Otter Tree to their top ten list, especially when it may be as high as number 3 on the list!
AfterSeven wrote:Hi Hardscrabble, Welcome aboard!

What was the ground perimeter height and volume... and diameter at 60/120/180 that you came up with? Did you ever issue a press release? How did you deal with Giant Burns down below in your calculations? Why doesn't the park service acknowledge the tree as #3 or even list it...if you know?

There was a tree listed in Dept of Interior reports from 1900 - 1925 as the "California Tree" in the Garfield Grove with a 30' diameter (presumably at ground level) and 260' high... did you see any sign that this tree had been recognized by previous generations...(Trail Proximity, Plaque Mounts, Carvings in the trunk?)

I'll be sure to check it out when it cools down a bit on the South Fork.

How did you do with the search for the Phantom? Did you end up checking out the large trees of Homers Nose, Board Camp, South Fork and Eden Creek? If so were there any approaches to these groves you found favorable or any approaches you would advise against at all costs? how'd you deal with the low elevation walls of poison oak?

Sorry for all the questions...Cheers!
A7

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