Sept 2010 Newsletter - 24th Sep 2010

Sept 2010 Newsletter Dear Notable Tree Enthusiasts,

We have had some exceptional trees added to the database in the past few months.  In addition to this we are pleased to release several new database features that we have been developing.  The new features will enable easier interpretation of data and also make it easier to find the latest tree updates and new listings.  More below but first,

A Note About Measuring Tree Girth

Whilst tree girth or circumference is generally taken at 1.4m in New Zealand (C or GBH) certain latitude is required when measuring trees that deviate from the norm.  Trees that have huge swollen buttresses should be measured above the buttress and this height noted.  The following is a good example  Additional measurements can be taken of the buttress for the record.

Low branching trees can also create challenges for measuring GBH.  When measurements are unduly influenced by branch swellings, or even burls, then take your measurement above or below the swollen area and record this height.  A girth height of 1.15m was recorded in this example

Remember ‘less is more’ when it comes to taking girth measurements.  Slide your tape around to obtain the smallest measurement then record the height so that subsequent records can be taken from the same reference point.

In the next newsletter we will talk about measuring girth of trees growing on sloping ground.

An Update – New Zealand’s Largest English Oak

For many years the Rotorua ‘Arawa oak’ has been considered New Zealand’s largest recorded English oak (Burstall 1984). Recent comparative measurements have found a larger oak near Motueka in the Top of the South .  There are several older records on the database that may be strong contenders now and we are certain other large trees exist.  If you have a local tree you wish to add to the database we’d be happy to see it.  If you are located in Hastings we would be keen to have an update on the Frimley Park tree that was last measured in 1983.

New Listings

A standout new listing is the ‘Grange’ Norfolk Island pine (NIp) located near Warkworth (pictured, photo credit: Lyn Wade).   This tree was missed from early tree surveys and first measured by S. W. Burstall just after he completed his unpublished forest mensuration reports and his subsequent book, ‘Great Trees of New Zealand’.   The tree has the largest girth of any NIp in the world and, whilst not the tallest, is the current world champion with 526 points.

New Features

Map Feature – this feature is not exactly new but it transpires that the majority of people have not found it yet!  We have made it easier to locate. Try searching Norfolk Island pines, select ‘All Trees’ and search.   At the top right of the column of search results is ‘Click to view all results on a map’.  This will take you a Google map with a marker for each tree shown in a distribution view.  You can click to view any tree.  Searching and viewing all our records with this feature makes for a very interesting picture!

Tree Dimension Format – here is a really functional format.  This allows users to compare search results with ease without having to jump from one record to another.  Try searching blue gum, select all records and click search.  At the top left of the column of search results is ‘View Results by Tree Dimension’.  You will now see the data is showing in height, girth, diameter and spread format.   Each column header can be clicked to ‘sort by’ largest to smallest.  Give it a go – its great.

Recent Updates and New Trees – we appreciate finding new trees was easy, as these were always added to the end of the register.  Locating newly updated trees was a bit more of a challenge, so we have created a ‘Recent Changes’ report that users can quickly scan to see the most recent changes to the database.   This can be found on the right-hand side of the Home view page

Ten Year Report – this feature is also located on the Home page view.  This report allows a user to quickly locate any trees in their area that require a measurement or verification update.   Simply click the link and scroll to your region then, grab your notebook and measuring gear - and off you go!

Thank you to those that have sent in updates and new tree records.  For those of you who would like to get in on the action to update tree records or register as a tree recorder simply go to our website and follow the instructions.

Mark Your Calendar!
Our joint conference with the NZAA is nearly upon us.  Another combined programme has been put together to enlighten the mind and facilitate our annual social gathering of the tree-minded.

Mark your calendar for the 11th – 13th November.
This year’s venue will be the Ellerslie Convention Centre, Auckland

You can keep up on the 2010 Conference developments by going to the NZAA website where there is a full programme available.

Kind regards,
The Notable Trees team

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