Forest Giants of the World: Past and Present

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9781550410907: Forest Giants of the World: Past and Present

Ever since the forest primeval, men and women have walked among the trees and admired their beauty and wondered at their size. How big are these magnificent things, anyway? We moderns are wont to measure, categorize and document, and so a book like this is born which is world-wide in scope and not only embraces space but also time. As the author, Al Carder, shows us in his study of forest giants the past is as important as the present. Many, many of our great trees have fallen and disappeared, some through fire and storm but more through the ravages of our own kind. Dr. Carder has not only traveled the world in search of the living giants, he has consulted the histories and records to identify those great trees that have been and gone, and his book is therefore an authoritative record of the world's super trees, past and present. Height is only one quality of greatness. Some trees are awesome in their ultimate form; their bole, their spread of canopy, their age. All these features are ardently noted by the author who describes more than 140 species. Forest Giants of the World will appeal to those who wonder about the location and the measurement of the Great Trees as well as to the specialist who requires more technical details about them.

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About the Author:

Al Carder, born in 1910, remembers the magnificent Douglas-fir forests of coastal British Columbia while some still remained. He was a researcher on the growth of plants, especially crop plants, and their response to climate. His investigations were done in the northern territories of Canada. In 1967 he was awarded the Canadian Centennial Medal for his contribution to Agriculture in Canada. He retired in 1970 and in 1977 launched an investigation on the past and present giant trees of the world.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

What constitutes a giant tree? A difficult question to answer in precise terms. In matters biological, is it usually a ticklish chore to place suitable guide lines. However, because this project is world-wide in scope, there must be some fairly stringent limits applied or the whole endeavour would be unmanageable. The best seems to be as follows. A species enters the big-tree category if it has produced a specimen or specimens:

1) 200 or more feet hgh

2) possessing a bole twelve or more feet in diameter at or near breast height

3) more than a thousand years old

4) with an unusually wide crown spread of at least 150 feet, or

5) with some other unusual feature, such as massive buttrressing.

Volume of wood contained by a trees is not listed even though it could be regarded as an important criterion of size. The reason is that there are so many ways this is calculated in different parts of the world that it cannot be justifiably used....

Obviously giantism occurs among trees as in any other form of life. It is common observation that once a species has produced such an anomaly, it, in all likelihood, will do so again. This then must be taken as the size extreme, a fact which is accepted here. Species that are prone to produce rare forms, including giants, are genetically youthful and retain the ability to exploit all opportunities. Because of this a scene such as the follow may present itself. A stand of splendid, even-aged, even-topped, old-growth trees of Douglas-fir (a vigorous and mutable race) is growing under optimum and uniform conditions, yet a specimen raises its crown far above those of its peers. Such a tree has a genetic aberration which, in this case, seems beneficial. Like occurrences, helpful or otherwise, are common in nature.

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Al Carder
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Carder, Al
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Al Carder
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Descripción Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1995. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 1. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX1550410903

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