Page:Climatic Cycles and Tree-Growth - 1919.djvu/64

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CLIMATIC CYCLES AND TREE-GROWTH.

belonging to the group. But if other samples are taken in future years, this numbering will prevent confusion. All the 23 stumps are thus identified by a number in this series.

I had hoped on this trip to find other trees as old as Huntington's three, and therefore searched carefully for the largest stumps. All those over 20 feet in diameter and a number of less size were estimated for age. This was done by measuring the average width of rings here and there along a radius and multiplying by the length of the radius. About 50 were thus tested. In many cases the result has proved to be within 50 years and sometimes much closer, but these estimations were not very reliable, there being several large mistakes in them. In attempting to pick out the oldest stumps among several thousand without spending much time or getting very far from camp, it is impossible to make these estimates with very great care. It was felt that much help would have been obtained from a small range-finder and telescope, the former to give the distance of the stump and the latter its diameter. In the course of a few days this would have saved many miles of tramping and the oldest trees would have been found more readily.

On the steep upland slopes above Camp 6, two trees were estimated at about 2,500 years in age. These were afterwards numbered D 18 and D 19. D 18 was an immense tree which was cut down in 1914 at the time a motion-picture company was operating in the sequoia forest. It is referred to by the lumbermen as the "Moving Picture Tree." It had to be blasted from the stump before it fell, and the stump was so completely shattered that no sample could be cut from it. In falling, the trunk of the tree split in halves through a large part of its length, and most of it remains where it fell. About 40 feet of logs were cut away between the ruins of the stump and the rest of the tree. Accordingly my sample was cut from the lower end of the broken top and at a point which had been about 50 feet above the ground.

Close by the location of No. 18, and on the steep upper hillside just below the track which extends on to Camp 7, is No. 19. A log from it rests uphill with its upper end at the railroad embankment. The section was taken from the stump nearly 60 feet below (see plate 5). Camp 7 was visited and used as a base for two days. It is 2 miles beyond Camp 6 on the ridge at the farther side of Windy Gulch. There are some very fine stumps close to the road that goes down from the camp into the basin, which were estimated to be 2,300 or 2,400 years old.

No. 16 was found high up in the gulch that extends toward the top of the mountain just south of the camp. The gulch faces toward the east and at the location of the tree has a slope of 15°. No. 17 comes from the basin some hundreds of feet below the camp. It was a wind-fall and the lumberman thought it might have been lying there a great many years. As it was a very large tree and of slow growth, it was